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Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn album cover
3.87 | 2285 ratings | 173 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing

UK Version
1. Astronomy Domine (4:12)
2. Lucifer Sam (3:07)
3. Matilda Mother (3:08)
4. Flaming (2:46)
5. Pow R. Toc H. (4:26)
6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk (3:05)
7. Interstellar Overdrive (9:41)
8. The Gnome (2:13)
9. Chapter 24 (3:42)
10. Scarecrow (2:11)
11. Bike (3:21)

Total Time 41:52

US Version
1. See Emily Play (2:53)
2. Pow.R Toc.H (4:26)
3. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk (3:05)
4. Lucifer Sam (3:07)
5. Matilda Mother (3:08)
6. The Scarecrow (2:11)
7. The Gnome (2:13)
8. Chapter 24 (3:42)
9. Intersteller Overdrive (9:41)

Total Time 34:26

2007 EMI remaster releases (2 and 3 discs):

CD 1: Mono version (42:15)
1. Astronomy Domine (4:16)
2. Lucifer Sam (3:09)
3. Matilda Mother (3:05)
4. Flaming (2:45)
5. Pow R Toc H (4:25)
6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk (3:07)
7. Interstellar Overdrive (9:43)
8. The Gnome (2:14)
9. Chapter 24 (3:53)
10. Scarecrow (2:11)
11. Bike (3:27)

CD 2: Stereo version (41:55)
1. Astronomy Domine (4:12)
2. Lucifer Sam (3:07)
3. Matilda Mother (3:08)
4. Flaming (2:46)
5. Pow R Toc H (4:26)
6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk (3:06)
7. Interstellar Overdrive (9:40)
8. The Gnome (2:13)
9. Chapter 24 (3:42)
10. Scarecrow (2:11)
11. Bike (3:24)

CD 3: Bonus tracks (32:02)
1. Arnold Layne (2:55)
2. Candy and a Currant Bun (2:45)
3. See Emily Play (2:54)
4. Apples and Oranges (3:05)
5. Paintbox (3:45)
6. Interstellar Overdrive (take 2) (French edit) (5:15)
7. Apples and Oranges (stereo version) (3:11) *
8. Matilda Mother (alternative version) (3:09) *
9. Interstellar Overdrive (take 6) (5:03) *

All mono except track 7
* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Syd Barrett / guitar, lead vocals (1,4-8), voice (2)
- Richard Wright / Farfisa Compact Duo organ, piano, celeste, lead vocals (5)
- Roger Waters / bass, lead vocals (3), voice (2)
- Nick Mason / drums, percussion

- Norman Smith / arrangements, drum roll (9), producer
- Peter Jenner / vocalisations (9-intro)

Releases information

ArtWork: Vic Singh (photo) with Syd Barrett (rear cover)

LP Columbia - SX6157 (1967, UK) Mono release
LP Columbia - SCX6157 (1967, UK) Stereo release
LP Tower ST 5093 (1967, US) Titled "Pink Floyd" and different track list - missing 3 songs but featuring "See Emily Play"

CD EMI ‎- CDP 7 46384 2 (1987, Europe)
CD EMI ‎- CDEMD 1073 (1994, Europe) Remastered by Doug Sax w/ James Guthrie
2xCD EMI ‎- 503 9232 (2007, Europe) Remastered Mono & Stereo versions by James Guthrie
3xCD EMI ‎- 50999 5 05270 2 1 (2007, Europe) Remastered Mono & Stereo versions plus bonus disc w/ Syd Barrett-era singles and more

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PINK FLOYD The Piper at the Gates of Dawn Music

PINK FLOYD The Piper at the Gates of Dawn ratings distribution

(2285 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PINK FLOYD The Piper at the Gates of Dawn reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by maani
5 stars With the possible exception of Court of the Crimson King, the best debut album by any group in ANY genre. Maybe it was the acid, maybe its was the genius of Syd Barrett (and/or Roger Waters), maybe it was London in 1967. Whatever. Although comparatively "immature" next to their later work, Piper stands as a towering achievement in prog-rock, and remains among a handful of standard-bearers in the genre.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Totally unrepresentative of the real Floyd

Many Floyd detractors are usually giving the good nod only to this album, because they are fans of Syd Barrett's silly ditties and discard the rest of the group as mere support cast. This is of course immensely unfair, because the other three members, while no virtuosos, where definitely the musical backbone of the group, as cold be then seen or heard in concert way back then. Indeed, their live appearances were about lengthy and improvised tracks that featured way more than Barrett's twee songwriting, no matter how popular it was on the radio airwaves.

To be quite honest, Barrett's so-called genius is not quite as evident as some would have you to believe on this Gates Of Dawn album, as there are no songs that equal the potential of their previous two singles "Emily" and "Arnold". There are indeed a bunch of short songs that were about weird British/English weirdness, but it's nothing that The Beatles had done a few months before with Sgt? Pepper or Magical Mystery Tour and the Fab Four did that much better. Sooooo those thinking these short tracks are pure genius are forgetting this album post-dates Sgt Pepper by three months (June and Sept 67) and you can find the same kind of madness in albums that came out that same fall, namely Procol Harum's debut (Mabel, Garden Fence etc..), Traffic's Mr Fantasy (the non-album singles like Paper Sun & Hole In My Shoe and Berkshire Poppies, Coloured Rain ) and The Nice's Thoughts Of Emerlist (Flower King, Bonnie K, Maggie), although the latter two came out in December that same year, so Floyd might have been influential on these.

Where Floyd does the difference is in the more obscure and longer tracks, thus giving us another facet of their crafts, the live one. While the album-opening Astronomy Domine might appear as another poppish track, the three other musicians do marvels and it's little wonder it will be the only track that will survive in concert past Barrett's replacement and all the way until the release of Ummagumma. Another track is the gigantic Interstellar Overdrive, le lengthy track that sets the tone to Space Rock. Another weirdie is Pow R Toc H, where the whole group plays abstract and often dissonant music, thus showing enough depth to grab the serious music punters' attention. Roger Waters' sole penned track is a relatively instrumental, since there is only one verse (not that good), the rest featuring them playing and soloing.

Sooo discarding the other three acolytes to magnify the ephemeral genius of Barrett is unjust. In this album, the producer clearly chose to go with the Barrett facet, and as such, it was a good commercial choice. I would not hate to see this album reissued with the Emily and Arnold and their B-sides as added bonus! They'd blend in well with the album's madness and would therefore make Syd's Floyd-contribution complete in one disc. Hard to say this album is not essential (historically, anyway), but at least I can say that it's only moderately good.

Review by frenchie
4 stars and it all began here... with syd barrett. although this album may seem crazy, immature and generally an outcast to the rest of their albums, it actually paved the way to lead into albums like meddle and dark side by introducing us to a new kind of sound. intense psychadelia which gradually lead into a more serious and progressive psychadelia, album by album.

This album will make you laugh, pine for syd, appreciate gnomes, scarecrows and the 60's psychadelic drug scene. i dont think anyone can find a trippier album than this (except maybe ummagumma). although the lyrics are a more random and childish, the guitar work and power of the floyds music is still clearly present. the vast expiriments with sound and instruements never fail to please and there is even a taste of progressive rock with the lengthy interstellar overdrive.

a masterpiece. and if there is anyone who sees this as a poor album compared to the rest then dont look at it as a pink floyd album. just listen to the album with a free mind and you will gradually be marvelled and mentally scarred by this amazing album. piper gives you pink floyd at their best plus the amazing thought that things continue to be as amazing or even better from then on.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When I bought this album I was already a "Dark Side of the Moon" fan, and to be honest "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" sounded me as an heresy. Why were my idols playing that exuberant and lysergic music? But the answer was simple Syd Barrett. With the pass of time I learned to love this album and today is one of my favorites, even if has almost nothing in common with the progressive Pink Floyd.

"Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is a semi conceptual album inspired in Syd Barrett's favorite children's book "The Wind and the Willows" and because of that is somehow naïve and innocent, but it's also an ode to madness, sometimes confusing and sometimes totally lack of coherence, but that insanity is the key of it's beauty and transcendence.

The album starts with "Astronomy Domine", a typical psychedelic song of the late 60's with a pop edge and guitar based sound plus simple but effective drums. Even when Floyd didn't even dreamed with DSOTM we can listen some spacey sections, as an Avant premiere of the sound they will develop years after.

"Lucifer Sam" is a song where Roger Waters demonstrates what his capable of with his powerful bass, reminds by moments to the Batman Theme (remember the 60´s series?), a good song but nothing special, except maybe for the complex mixture of instruments in the middle section of the track and the overplayed keyboards that sound like Farfisa Organ.

"Matilda Mother" reminds of Sergeant Pepper's and it must have been a classic when the album was released, but today sounds outdated, even when it's a very complex track with multiple changes and elaborated vocals. You can almost feel the effects of the LSD when you listen this song.

"Pow R Toc H" can be described in two words pure acid, the song is plagued with sounds and shouts, almost always out of tune, that would be totally out of reality if it wasn't for the extraordinary piano sections by Wright that brings as back to earth.

"Take thy Stethoscope and Walk" is without doubt one of the worst song of the album, incredibly was composed by Roger Waters and is a typical 60's song but lacks of imagination and coherence. The next track "Interstellar Overdrive" is one of the first clear attempts of space rock, still confusing and chaotic but very interesting, the band offers something innovative.

"The Gnome", "Chapter 24" and "The Scarecrow" are three weak Barrett songs, again the band offers nothing different to what second-class bands done before, pretty forgettable except for the historical value of being composed by Syd Barrett.

The album ends with the childish and naïve "Bike", don't know why but I find this song very interesting and well done, as a curiosity, in the middle section there's a moment silence and a explosion of clock like sounds that for an instant transports the listener to Dark Side of the Moon.

"Piper at the Gates of Dawn" explores two aspects of psychedelic music, the exploration of a world that goes further than the senses and at the same time an absolute demonstration of mental insanity, which explains Syd Barrett's future breakdown. Not progressive by any mean but an absolute masterpiece of British Psychedelia that can't be easily understood by those of us who didn't lived the excesses of the late 60's.

An essential piece of music, basic to understand the history of one of the most incredible and innovative bands of Progressive Rock.

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Amazing how simply writing about this album causes such a lysergic response in most people that they forget how to spell or form complete sentences. I'll try to buck that trend, as well as provide a moderate view.

"The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" (and the singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play") occupies a similar place in musical history and the specific band's discography as the first GRATEFUL DEAD releases. Both serve as time capsules for the 'sound of the psychedelic 60s', representing the two cultural centers of the time: Swinging London and Haight-Ashbury. Being such a specific point in time, both were fated to sound dated within a few years, and yet are still drawn on for inspiration by diverse musicians to this day. Neither example represents the bands' trademark sounds, as both bands changed considerably after the loss of a key founding member (Barrett and Pigpen). Both bands managed to earn their eventual acclaim not by deliberately courting chart success, but with a dedication to touring and providing the concert-goer with a unique and 'mind-blowing' experience. "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", as well as the GRATEFUL DEAD's eponymous first album, has a number of solid songs that are nonetheless relatively forgettable, or would have been had they come from other bands with less follow-up. Some are lovably naiive and playful ("Bike", "Lucifer Sam"), and resemble Barrett's later solo work more than PF's later development- which is shadowed in the proto-prog "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive".

Personally, I think that while this is an important and eerily fun album, it is not really in the progressive rock genre; it's mainly going to appeal to the FLOYD completist or lovers of the psychedelic era. If you can manage to forget or ignore the later PINK FLOYD legacy, this piece of acid rock history becomes much more enjoyable.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One cannot deny the wizardry of Syd Barrett on Piper...Sure the album was pscho pop at times but as one of the previous reviewers so aptly puts it, you needed to be around at the time to truly appreciate this genre of music and the datestamp it relates to. Personally I prefer the spacier tracks like ' Astronomy Domine' and ' Interstellar Overdrive' and preferred the direction the band took after barrett's departure but ' Bike' you just can't help loving it and admiring Barrett's eccentricities not to mention acid infused creative flashes.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I have refrained from reviewing this album since I knew the band the first time when they released "The Dark Side of The Moon" during my teenage. Hooked to the band with DSoTM I explored other albums the band had released previously. With the fact that I lived in small town in East Java, Indonesia, it was not that easy to get the other album of the band. Until I got it later in 1977 when I was on tour (with friends of mine who loved 70s music at that time) to Bali Island, Indonesia. I was dissatisfied with this debut album at first listening and I did not play it for a long time. To me, what was the difference between this album and the Beatles?

Couple months ago I purchased a book "SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS - The Pink Floyd Odyssey" by Nicholas Schaffner. I did not really read the book seriously and it was in fact interrupted by reading Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code". Under the pressure of the editor of local newspaper who asked me to review the SAUCERFUL book, I finally complete the reading of SAUCERFUL last week. What a great book really! Oh man . the book has helped me a lot in understanding the band as a whole starting from its embryo stage until the break up with Roger Waters. I am really touched with many passages written in the book about the band.

Specific to "Piper", the book has helped me "reposition" (ahem . it seems like I'm a marketing / strategy guru like Kotler or Porter??? No .. no . I'm just a prog listener ..) my view about this album. It helps me putting things into perspective. You will listen to this album at its center like enjoying the Beatles. BUT . hold your thoughts for a second . get your CD of PF other albums, any album. And then try listen to it carefully. Don't stop listening to it until you find the passage or "nuance" that is very specific and reminiscent of the soul of "The Piper" album!

Yes, the Piper has inspired later albums of Pink Floyd. The band members admitted it clearly. That's why on the "Wish You Were Here" album the band made a tribute to Syd Barret, the founder and song writer (early stage) of Pink Floyd. The song "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" was created as tribute to Syd. "Remember when you were young / you shone like the sun .". As one review about this album, you will appreciate The Piper when you were around at that time. So, absolutely we cannot compare this album with current digital era albums.

I'm not gonna review this album track by track as it is a classic album. It suffices to say that this is a MASTERPIECE as it laid a solid foundation for next generation of prog music. The Piper has inspired not only later Pink Floyd but also many new bands like Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles, RPWL, Riverside and countless many more .. Any of you who are new to prog world or who think that this album deserve less than four stars MUST read the book written nicely by Nicholas Schaffner (die hard fan of Pink Floyd). GW, Indonesia.


SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS - The Pink Floyd Odyssey, Nicholas Shaffner, Delta Book, 1991. (One of touching stories was when Dave Gilmour frequently visited Syd Barret as a mentor after couple years Syd was not with the band. A lot of humanity aspects I have learned from the book.). Oops . by the way .. I have no financial interest at all with the publisher of the book. I just want to share how great the book is, full stop!

Review by FloydWright
2 stars This is a rather tough one to rate, and I'm afraid I'm going to take a lot of flack for it...on one hand, there are definite signs of potential, and on the other, there are also some very obvious problems with Piper. This is not a work of genius. I'm sorry, but drugs and genius really should not be in the same sentence. Drugs do not create genius--they hamper whatever genius might in fact be there. Whimsical, yes, but genius--I'm afraid there's a definite lack of maturity here. Who knows, maybe SYD BARRETT's songwriting would have matured with adulthood, if he had been able to continue functioning well as a musician, but the fact is that this and his solo works are all we have to judge by. And let's get this straight right now--I have all respect for the man and what he has been through. However, I still reserve my right to exercise my own judgment and my own tastes on the work, even if that may prove irritating to some.

The first problem I have is that some of the songs on here are...well...too pop- oriented. I think, if I remember correctly, that at that time, PINK FLOYD was aiming to follow up their hit singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", and while this may well have been a necessary career move at that time, I still find the songs a little underdeveloped and too childlike (think of "The Gnome"). Which is no surprise given that they're aimed at the same audience that ate up the "utterly puerile" Please Please Me by the Beatles (that excellent Beatles comment coming from RICK WRIGHT). Furthermore, one conclusion I definitely came to is that, while he is not a bad vocalist, SYD BARRETT definitely needs RICK WRIGHT's backing vocals and (sometimes) lead vocals to help soften his voice, and also provide a needed contrast. The best song with vocals on the album, "Matilda Mother", is perhaps the prime example of this balance, featuring both vocal talents just about equally. "Astronomy Domine" is quite good, but not so energetic as later renditions such as the ones on Ummagumma or even PULSE. One song that BARRETT sings well on his own, though, is "Lucifer Sam".

Still, this album definitely does show the future promise of PINK FLOYD. While we have to remember that the FLOYD members were quite young at the time (the band's "middle child", RICHARD WRIGHT, would have only just turned 22 at Piper's release) and therefore all of their styles will seem rough, you can particularly see that RICK WRIGHT and NICK MASON are laying the groundwork for their future work, particularly in the instrumentals "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Pow R. Toc H." (minus the strange noises!). ROGER WATERS still has a ways to go, though--his songwriting is fragmented at best, as evidenced on "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk".

While I don't think this is a bad album, it just doesn't get the kind of time in my CD player that its big brother A Saucerful of Secrets or even the compilation Relics gets. Both of those albums, I think, are better representations of PINK FLOYD at this time period, and may appeal more to those who are not exclusively fans of the SYD BARRETT era. Piper may be OK, but I think that claims of genius are highly exaggerated. Had BARRETT had more time to write music unimpaired, his future works could have possibly been...but this one doesn't come up to that bar, and I suggest only getting this one after having completed most of the rest of your collection.

Review by TRoTZ
5 stars With their first album, PINK FLOYD presented the world with the first great psychedelic rock album of all time. It's worth to say they were not the first with this new music experimentation, but they soon after would be the reference band. In that time, there was clearly separation from Britain's rock, which was seen as social phenomena and sold to masses; and American rock, more acid and still in an underground market. In fact, in Britain (and all over the world), the commercial wave of Beatlemania was on the top. When Pink Floyd arrived with their debut album, they offered an alternative music, which was some sort of approximation with American rock. They did not manage to escape some poppy Beatles inspiration, particularly in the vocals and melodies.

Beware that, this is a very experimental work, with spacey songs like Astronomy Domine and the suite Interstellar Overdrive (this one the most experimental of the album), the danceable poppy funny policial Lucifer Sam, the splendorous guitar and keyboard psycho arrangements of Take Up The Stethoscope and Walk with its blues bass rhythm, the somewhat middle- aged epical Scarecrow and the delusional Bike.

This is an essential progressive rock album, as it is the debut of one of the most important and first generation bands of the progressive scene (that opened the gate to several bands), but also because it is the first album exploring at the limit the psychedelic movement and the first with spacey tracks (what kind of complete collection does not have the historic origins?).

My rate: 8,5/10

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars The Syd Barrett-era ('67-'70) was musically totally differrent from the mid-FLOYD-era ('73- '79) and in my opinion it's unfair to compare these two PINK FLOYD line-ups. Syd Barrett was a very gifted song writter, many put him on the level of the legendary Ray Davies and John Lennon. Unfortunately Syd became a victim of schizophrenia and acid-abuse. He lost contact with the reality and was thrown out of the band by his very good friend Roger Waters, despite his hugh role. The debut-album "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" is a pivotal blend of rock, pop and psychedelia. The first track "Astronomy Domine" still sounds very powerful and compelling featuring a menacing climate, fiery electric guitar and Syd's unique vocal contribution. Another great song is "Interstellar Overdrive" with its hypnotizing atmosphere and propulsive guitarplay. The early PINK FLOYD was not only Syd Barrett, if you listen to "Scarecrow" you will be delighted by the floating Farfisa organ sound from Rick Wright. I have to admit that not every composition on this debut-album is on the level of above-mentioned tracks but most of the music on "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" is a fine and unique blend of almost childish lyrics, very adventurous ideas and strong compositional skills, created by four creative musicians.
Review by Marc Baum
4 stars "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" is an amazing psychedelic rock album with a progressive edge and experimental approach. I've red in a magazine, that it was the first album in history, where progressive arrangements were truely intigrated in the music, so it is one of the most important records for the genre. I don't think that it is the best debut album of all time, but one of the most important. Syd Barret's acid-influenced lyrics fit perfectly to the up-spaced music, which is sometimes really out of mind.

The awesome "Astronomy Domine", the nice "Matilda Mother", the space-epic "Interstellar Overdrive" or the little gem "Bike" are some of the best tracks ever recorded in psychedelic rock. Press called it the most psychedic album ever recorded, with that statement I absolutely agree. But don't forget the follow-up "A Saucerful Of Secrets" (first album with David Gilmour and final with Syd Barret), which has the equal importance in psychedelia. TPATGOD may not be a masterpiece, for that banner it lacks consistence, but it's a undeniable classic in psychedelic rock.

The first two Pink Floyd records are far away from the space-prog style of later records and the commercial approach of "Dark Side Of The Moon" or "The Wall", but are in their psychedelic style absolutele classics too. If you just start listening to Pink Floyd, begin with the famous records, because it's more accessible, after that, you will wonder about what you will find here. It's completely different! That was the strength of this band, they've sounded different from album to album and wrote history like no other band in experimental aspects. The promising beginning for the musical chameleon, which is called Pink Floyd.

album rating: 8/10 points = 79 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Review by con safo
4 stars Great early psychedelic prog! This is definitely not the Pink Floyd that most people are used to hearing, as the madman known as Syd Barrett was at this time the main creative force behind the band. The album, though somewhat naive, is a very charming and well done album. Syd Barrett had a mind like noone else, and his unique personality shines through on this album. Sadly this was the last album Syd would be with Pink Floyd, only contributing one song to the album "Saucerful of Secrets", but his creative (and insane) legacy will live on forever in this truly unique peice of music. Shine on Syd!... RIP


Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Floyd's legendary psychedelic debut album is a fine piece of work but never really to my tastes overall. Apart from the amazing opening in "Astronomy Domine", a longtime favorite track of mine, and the gritty space journey "Interstellar Overdrive", there's not much that stands out to me but neither of the tracks are bad either. Syd Barrett's songwriting is very good throughout and his signature sound and weirdness is at it's best here but I think the band progressed far better with the release of 'A Saucerful of Secrets' a year later, kicking out Barrett due to his excessive use of LSD (his two solo offerings from 1970 are worth checking out though) and recruiting David Gilmour instead forming a new solid path for the band. Nevertheless, this is classic psychedelic music that should be checked out by fans of the genre or perhaps a more curious Floyd fan. 3.5/5
Review by Cluster One
4 stars "Lime and limpid green, a second scene, A fight between the blue you once knew."

And so the otherwordly 'Astronomy Domine' snakes its way into your consciousness, the first of many brutally original pieces of music to come from the inner reaches of Roger "Syd" Barrett's genius. Barrett's use of colours as imagery in 'Astronomy' rivals that of Jimi Hendrix in his song 'Bold As Love'. 'Astronomy' has probably stood up best to the test of time.The Gilmour-led 1994 version of the Floyd amazed their legions of followers by starting off many of their sets with this tone-setting 'classic'.

While no doubt influenced by the Beatles, one has to ask 'Where did this come from??? Psychadelia all but exploded on the scene when Syd took his contemporaries on his fantastical and mythical journey in "PATGOD" a Syd Barrett solo album in all but name. His catchy and brilliantly written songs like 'Matilda Mother', 'Flaming', 'Scarecrow' and 'Lucifer Sam' (all 3 minutes and under) could have taken the place of the FLOYD's earlier successful singles 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play' and done just as well. Syd Barrett is an extremely talented lyricist with a knack for creative subject matter. What is better than writing pop songs about siamese cats and male cross-dressers?!?

Barrett's most progressive/psychadelic/acidic piece is 'Interstellar Overdrive'. Clocking in at nearly ten minutes (a length no doubt unheard of at the time, 1967) it is easy to picture this noodling, meandering, improvisational song being played at the UFO Club, stretched out to sometimes as long as twenty minutes as hundreds of young Londoners went along for 'the trip'. The driving repetitive guitar/bass riff is addictive if not repetitive.

And then there is 'Bike'. If ever there was one song that could best illustrate Syd's lyrical style it is this song. Lots of alliteration, and whimsical rhymes in this innocent piece. Your five year old daughter will appreciate this song as much as your thirty or forty year old self.

"PATGOD" is important as a historical recording, and it is an excellent addition to anyone's music collection, whether they love progressive, psychadelic, acid and/or space rock, for it indeed has elements of all these (at the time) experimental genres. However, as much as it pains me to say this, "PATGOD" is not a masterpiece! There are some flaws here. A glaring one of note is 'Pow R Toc H', an amateurish and uninspired piece with nonsensical 'lyrics'. This song screams LSD, and indeed it ends with a sort of freak-out. 'Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk', 'The Gnome' and 'Chapter 24' are also relatively weak.

Review by Neu!mann
5 stars To date there have already been over 75 (count 'em!) Prog Archive reviews of Pink Floyd's seminal debut album, and at this point it probably doesn't need any more. But here's a recording that can't help but elicit strong opinions, pro or con, so who am I to resist getting a word in edgewise?

But instead of yet another song-by-song analysis (there're plenty of those to go around), I'll stick to just a few observations.

1) Once upon a time I might have given the album a mere 2-star rating, or even worse: for hard-core collectors or completists only. When I first heard it, probably as a part of "A Nice Pair", with the equally obscure "A Saucerful of Secrets", I just couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. The childish fairy tale lyrics and nursery school melodies (not to mention the primitive, lo-tech production job...the record was originally released in mono, fer cryin' out loud!) didn't seem to bear any relation to the same Pink Floyd responsible for "Dark Side of the Moon" or "Wish You Were Here". And still don't, I hasten to add.

2) But, in retrospect, that doesn't make the record any less of a classic. The same naive innocence is all part of its timeless appeal, especially when played alongside such intimidating instrumental freakouts as "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Pow R. Toc H", or the awesome "Astronomy Domine". Can any other Floyd album boast the same musical range, the same breadth of vision? (Save your rebuttals for the Forums, please...and don't even mention "Seamus"..!)

3) Part of what gives "The Piper" its classic status has nothing to do with the music on it. The tragedy of Syd Barrett's life, and the lingering shadow of his unfulfilled potential, is just as important a factor, for better or worse. Consider this: had Syd left the band in perfect health the album might be fondly recalled today as just another slice of groovy but dated hippie nostalgia.

4) It might be more sensible (and I'm probably not the first to say so) to regard "The Piper" as the first Syd Barrett solo album, with future members of the group Pink Floyd as his backing band. After all, it's closer in spirit to "The Madcap Laughs" than to "A Saucerful of Secrets".

5) And yet nothing in the later Floyd catalogue could have existed without it. Syd is the spectre haunting everything else the band ever recorded: most famously "Wish You Were Here" of course, but thematically and/or stylistically hardly less on any other album.

...and so, finally 6) If you consider yourself in any way, shape or form a fan of Pink Floyd, you need to hear this album, if only to put their later success in better perspective.

Review by loserboy
4 stars ... And now for perhaps the greatest psychedelic-rock album of all time... enter Mr. Syd Barrett and company. "Piper..." was the first full album by London's "The Pink Floyd" and showcases their creative yet drugged out free form musical compositions. Without a question this is Barrett at his best and most evocative music from his creative mind. Included on this album are 2 of the most respected and copied tracks from the psychedelic era namely "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive". I have always loved the early FLOYD albums and consider this album to be one of my personal favs from this era.
Review by Tony Fisher
1 stars Having bought (and loved0 Meddle, I naturally went to get all the earlier albums. This one may have been innovative, psychadelic and all the other descriptions lavished on it in the other reviews, but it doesn't disguise the fact that most of the songs are puerile rubbish. Syd Barrett was barking mad, not a genius. The lyrics for Bike could have been written by a six year old and several other songs fall into the same category. Only Rick Wright manages to conjure something listenable at times but he's fighting a losing battle. Astronomy Domine and Interstellar Overdrive are passable but, overall, the best thing to do with this LP is to turn it into an ashtray or a clock. Thank God Dave Gilmour came along and they moved forward to produce some later masterpieces.
Review by chessman
4 stars A superb debut, certainly different to their later stuff, but excellent none the less. Each track is well crafted, none of them too long, and all catchy and listenable. 'Astronomy Domine', 'Interstellar Overdrive', 'Scarecrow', 'Bike', 'Lucifer Sam', etc, are all damn good and fun tunes! Not a bad one here, and all filled with the enthusiasm of youth! Listen through your headphones and be amazed! These were the days of stereo experimentation, and Interstellar Overdrive and Bike particularly benefit from this 'mucking about' with the sound. Strange to think that, after this and 'Saucerful Of Secrets', they were to lose their way, not producing a really good album until 'Meddle'. Recommended, both to Floyd fans, and also to classic sixties pyschedelia buffs. An excellent cover too!
Review by Philrod
3 stars This album was the pinnacle of the pop-psychedelia genre. Songs like ''Bike'' represents in a good way the style. There are definitely highlight on this album, particularly ''Astronomy Domine'', and Interstellar Overdrive, wich is way better live, though. Some songs are filler to me, really this is a must have as it is the starting point of a monumental band, and the only one with Syd Barret, wich was a genius in his days. He definitely is the frontman of the band, as every song is touched by his dynamic and enthusiastic approach to music. Pogressively talking, this does not touch Atom heart Mother or Meddle, but a pretty enjoybale album. 3.5/5
Review by Eclipse
3 stars PINK FLOYD borns with this good album full with Syd's psychedelia and dominated by his lyrics and style. Unfortunately it has a poppier side in some songs that, in my opinion, makes the album doesn't survive the challenge of time. The only tracks that i really care are "Lucifer Sam" and the opening "Astronomy Domine". I think "Interstellar Overdrive" is a bit overrated and i see nothing special with it. The other good songs are "Matilda Mother" and "Pow R Toc H", which aren't anything special either but are still very fun and enjoyable. "Bike" is a fun song that can get a bit annoying, and has some disturbing noises at the end that are very scary. The USA and Japan releases contain "See Emily Play", and i think songs like "Candy and a Currant Bun", "Apples and Oranges" - which are found on the "Early Singles" from the Shine On box set - would fit very well in here and add a lot to the album's overall enjoyment.

Unfortunately even though PIPER has its great moments i prefer listening to some of its songs separatadely instead of the whole album. I prefer the "Early Singles" and "Saucerful of Secrets" to this one. Don't get me wrong, I do respect Syd and his way of composing, but i think it just doesn't appeal so much to me as it appeals to many other people. Another point that i'd like to make is that this is not the kind of music that has to be studied through a cold technical view caring for "how the members play this or that instrument" or the "production quality" and "musical complexity". The songs here are meant to show the hidden corners of someone's mind (Syd), it is actually very profound in terms of emotion and very personal. But, again, i don't feel very connected to this world and i simply feel a "fun" side at the songs, but nothing deeper than this.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Essential psychedelic album!

Three little masterpieces of psych music: "Astronomy Domine", "Pow R Toc H" (can be read as "power touch") and "Interstellar Overdrive" are included here and they are essential to any psychedelia devotee. Barrett's songwriting is at first hard to grasp, especially if you are accustomed to the "classic" spacey Floyd era of the 1970s. But once you get into his wildly imaginative Tolkienesque scenery with odd childlike rhymes, you will appreciate it even more. Waters' "Take Up Thy Stethoscope..." is perhaps the weakest song on the album - his time had not been come yet! A defining moment for prog rock, but also an acquired taste.

Review by Prognut
3 stars Not my favorite Album!! Too early in their musical path, very poppy!? in some instances, and to much Syd influence; not, that was something bad, but not their best effort... However, for historical reasons, you have to have this on your collection
Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Pink Floyd first album: how distant they sound from their classical progressive period of the beginning of the 70s.

A good work although the psychedelic spice informs clearly the date of its release: 1967. Maybe we could see it as a concept album centered around psychedelism and space (and madness).

This album is covered by mystery and legend and a reviewer feels sometimes like touching a sacred symbol of an obscure religion.

But the songs are there, the result is fair, and we have to remember always the year, the available means, the fact that's a debut work, etc.

Great moments: 'Astronomy domine' really a good opening; 'Lucifer Sam' and 'Mathilda Mother' the best songs - although the later could be confused with some Moody Blues song but it is still OK; "Interstellar overdrive", a kind of mini-epic to be heard sparsely; 'The gnome', the most interesting of the several weird tracks of the album. Other songs are below average and are only listenable when one wants to get the work entirely not picking only the most agreeable songs.

Undisputedly a LANDMARK, not necessarily a masterpiece. A work to be compulsorily added to any prog collection. Total: 4.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is my favorite Pink Floyd album, and I respect it as well as for the pleasurable music it has, but also as a psychedelic relic from 1967. I think that most of the best rock music emerged from that era, like Cream, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The opener "Astronomy Domine" introduces the listener to the chaotic world free associations and dreams. I think this is a bold opener, as it hasn't got anything to do with any rational musical directions associated with early psychedelia . Blues or folk leanings have shifted to unconventional chord progressions and very lunatic musical ideas. The following "Lucifer Sam" has a more familiar sounding 1960's rock song's basic structure, but it is attacked with mysterious sound missiles and has a very manic and good overall feeling in it. I think that the song paints us a portrait a black Siamese cat, or an obsession to it or something. "Matilda Mother" is also a true gem on this treasure chest, lyrics being thought-provoking and the descending chords in the beginning and in the verses create a very mysterious and unreal feeling. "Flaming" begins with an oppressing sound wall, which morphs to a psychedelic pop song. I first had bit uncertain feeling about this track, but somehow the tune opened after several listening times and I started to enjoy it much. I also heard that the original name of this song was "Flamingo" but the last letter was wisely dropped out. I also enjoyed "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" beginning and ending to symmetrical drumbeats, and in addition of furiously manic opening and closing verses there's only a freeform psychedelic assault left on this song. The biggest representative of this side of the band is of course "Interstellar Overdrive", which gives us a hint of the material they did on stage during this time. "Scarecrow" and "Bike" are then happily nut acoustic Syd Barrett songs, being also very pleasing. Their single cut "See Emily Play" which was as a bonus track on some import releases of this album is then maybe the best songs the whole band has ever recorded, not being on the original LP though. I guess this album which I value extremely wouldn't please those who have just found Pink Floyd via "Dark Side of The Moon" album, but I would recommend listening this if you are open minded, or you like the music of late 1960's. This is the most classic album which this band ever recorded in my opinion.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pink Floyd's debut is a view into a different train of thought in music. They weren't writing songs about begin dragged down by the stone or about running like hell, no, this album is a lot simpler than those days. This is not really progressive in terms of music, lyrics, or anything really, nothing more than psychedelic rock with playful pop lyrics. This is not the Pink Floyd everyone would come to know in 1973, this is Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd. Not saying that when Syd was in the band the music was bad, it's just not going to be everyone's cup of tea. All the key members of the band are there (except for the absence of David Gilmour), and they all are in top form for the music they created on this album.

The opener of the album, the fan favorite Astronomy Domine has a rather simplistic guitar theme and some nice vocal from Barrett. Among the best tracks on the album, it isn't wrought with the acid washed overtones of the rest of the album. Lucifer Sam is a playful tune about a black cat, with a nice guitar riff from Syd and some strong drum work from Nick Mason. Matilda Mother is an ethereal piece with ambient organ from Wright taking the forefront. The lyrics on this song (as well as the vocals) are dreamy and take the listener to another place. Flaming and Pow R. Toc H. are the weakest tracks on the album, being nothing more than noise and incoherent melodies, a bit disappointing in comparison with the rest of the album.

Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk is the sole lyrical contribution of Roger Waters on this album, and the lyrics are considerably weak in comparison with Syd's psychedelic walls of lyrical material. The drumming and vocal work on this song are considerably strong, though, despite weak lyrics. Interstellar Overdrive is the longest song on the album, clocking in at nearly 10 minutes. What you'll find here is a psychedelic freak out instrumental with no real coherent structure or melody. But what I find so interesting on this song is that all of the musicians find there own space and explore their respective instruments to the point of a sonic assault that leaves nothing alive.

The final third of the album continues the trend of playful pop melodies with psychedelic overtones, the best of these four songs being Bike, which takes a dissonant turn and haunts the listener with a chilling organ riff. The finale of Bike can also be considered as psychedelic drivel and adds nothing special to the album.

Overall, I think that all Pink Floyd fans should check out their respected roots. The Syd Barrett dominated incantation of Floyd wouldn't last long and soon enough we'd be graced with strong albums exploring and experimenting with different sounds moods, modes, and tempos. I give it a solid 3.5/5.

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This album is dramatic despite that blind critics give to it an important credit in the development of space/ psychedelic jammings. "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" reveals only one definitely classic tune: the improvised, freak-out, druggy "Interstellar Overdrive". In a sense this song prefigures the space out and psychedelica nirvana of German krautrockers. This affirmation is partly true because the History and musical sources don't give reason to the Floyds. in 1967, Soul Caravan (Xhol) published their furious "Get In High", Embryo recorded "For Eva...The debut of krautrock experimentations beat everything released by the almost conventional psychedelic pop of Pink Floyd (in the late 60's). Soft grass as "Scarecrow" or the "honest" and gently psychedelic "Astronomy Domine" indicate that the band's priority is to satisfy the public with easy (and rarely efficient) hippie spaced out effects. Late 60s gorgeous acid rock trips and alternatives to common psychedelic pop music are associated to these names: Xhol, Tangerine Dream at their rocking period, Zendik, Organisation, "Zodiak free arts lab" (family tree with Kluster, Eruption...).
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I remember the disappointment I felt when I first heard this record, I was not expecting to hear poppy, psychedelic music with silly, story book-like lyrics. I'm sure a lot of people had the same experience who only knew FLOYD via "Dark Side Of The Moon" or "Wish You Were Here", but this was recorded in 1967 and this is Syd Barrett's PINK FLOYD (not Rogers), and David Gilmour isn't even in the band yet. I thought it was interesting reading Pete Townsend's thoughts on this album when he first heard it. Now keep in mind he used to go and see FLOYD and the SOFT MACHINE at the UFO Club and FLOYD blew him away with their psychedlic, experimental and powerful shows. Anyway when he heard the debut he thought it was awful, it didn't represent the band he was used to seeing live at all. This would have sounded much different if Syd and producer Norman Smith weren't involved, no doubt about that. I feel though that this album has had a huge historical significance in the genre of Psychedelic music.

It's very cool to think that back in those days when PINK FLOYD and SOFT MACHINE played together all the time at the "UFO Club". In fact the debut album from both bands have a similar style with those short poppy psychedelic tunes. Both bands would really be known for what they would record in the early seventies though, so to go back to the debuts of both of these legendary bands can be a surprise and a disappointment. I have to thank Finnforest for his respect and knowledge of Syd Barrett and PINK FLOYD in general. It's the former that caused me to upgrade this review. And please check out his fantastic review of this album.

It's interesting that whan FLOYD signed to EMI they were assigned Norman Smith as producer the same man who engineered for George Martin and THE BEATLES up to "Rubber Soul". It was Smith who urged EMI to sign FLOYD after seeing them at the UFO Club. Not that he liked their music but he knew talent when he saw it. Ironically enough both THE BEATLES and PINK FLOYD were recording their respective albums at the same time at Abbey Road studios, in fact there was even an introduction of the two bands which Nick Mason later described was like meeting the royal family. By the way Smith did not enjoy doing this record. "Working with Syd was pure hell and there are no pleasant memories". Tell us how you really feel Norman (haha). I guess Barrett refused to play anything the same way twice, no matter how small a piece. Norman was pulling his hair out in frustation. Hey it still turned out awsome Mr.Smith.

Things get started with "Astronomy Domine" a PINK FLOYD classic that is great to hear live. It was recorded live in the studio in two takes with one version overdubbed on top of the other. Roger's bass playing is prominant especially in the intro. Mason is all over this classic spacerock track. This is the perfect song to start the album off with and it's a top three tune for me. And really this track and "Intersteller Overdrive" give us a hint at what this band would do later in their careers. "Lucifer Sam" is a very swinging, sixties sounding tune (haha), that is one of my favourites on the record. It's an ode to Barrett's Siamese cat. Drums and bass dominate and I like the organ 2 1/2 minutes in. "Matilda Mother" is another really good song and a top three track for me. Some good organ work from Richard. "Flaming" is a little haunting to begin with before turning lighter with vocals.

"Pow R. Toc.H." is an instrumental that opens and closes with experimental sounds while in between we get a good piano,drum melody. "Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" is the only song not written by Syd Barrett. Roger Waters did this one. The instrumental parts are great, with organ and drums leading the way. "Intersteller Overdrive" is my favourite on this album, and is possibly the first spacerock song ever recorded. The guitar and bass are terrific as we travel through space in our minds. "The Gnome" is a silly acoustic song, while "Chapter 24" is a slower paced, spacey tune. "Scarecrow" is also another silly song that features farfisa organ and percussion. "Bike" is catchy and I can't help but love it.

There is something charming about this record, while the two monster songs "Astronomy Domine" and "Intersteller Overdrive" showed the music world that PINK FLOYD were a band that had to be taken seriously !

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars As usual for a first effort, I was quite reluctant in reviewing this first Floyd album (or is it Syd's album ?). "Piper At The Gates of Dawn" is the title of a chapter in Kenneth Grahame's book, "The Wind in the Willows", one of Syd's favorites. Like the band posted on their web-site after Syd's death :"Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire". Roger met Syd and Nick at the Cambridge Lyceum. In 1963, Roger founded his first band with Nick and Rick (The Sigma Six). Syd will join them pretty soon and this was the start of a magical band. The name « Pink Floyd » is found by Syd (it refers to two blues singers : Pink Anderson and Floyd Council). There is one interesting quote from Roger about Syd (available on www.pinkfloyd- :

"All that stuff about Syd starting the space-rock thing is just so much nonsense. He was completely into Hillaire Belloc, and all his stuff was kind of whimsical, all fairly heavy rooted in English literature. I think Syd had one song that had anything to do with space, 'Astronomy Domine', that's all. That's the total sum of all Syd's writing about space and yet there's this whole mystique about how he was the father of it all. It's just a load of old bollocks, it all happened afterwards. There's an instrumental track which we came up with together on the first album, 'Interstellar Overdrive', that's just the title, you see, it's actually an abstract piece with an interstellar attachment in terms of its name."

About the future of the band in terms of live appearances, Roger will comment in 1967 :

"We can't go on doing clubs and ballrooms. We want a brand new environment and we've hit on the idea of using a big top. We'll have a huge tent and go around like a travelling circus. We'll have a huge screen 120 feet wide and 40 feet high inside and project films and slides. We'll play the big cities or anywhere and become an occasion just like a circus. It'll be a beautiful scene. It could even be the salvation of the circus." Quite premonitory, right ?

I would certainly not recomend this album to enter the Floyd's catalogue. I consider this one more as a testimonial of an era and a tribute to Syd. The brilliant opener "Astronomy Domine" is the highlight. An incredible psychedelic trip. Completely innovative for the era. If only it could have set the pace for the rest of the album ! "Lucifer Sam" is a good pop / psyche tune. Great bass playing and drumming. "Mathilda Mother" is completely psyche and interesting. This song will be quite downsized by the producer for this studio release. During their live renditions it was easily extended to anything between ten to twenty minutes.

As far as their live sets are concerned, the band will play approximately 135 concerts from April 29 and December 22nd, 1967. One concert every other day. For six months. Some concerts in the US will be cancelled (nine in total) because the working permit was delayed by the US authorities. Amongst them, three were planned in the famous Whisky-A-Go-Go club (you know the whisky bar from The Doors...).

They were also one of the opening acts of the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" tour and performed twice a day for several days during this tour (total of over thirty shows in three weeks). On December 2, 1967 for the show at The Dome (in Brighton) it is said that David Gilmour made his first appearance with the Floyd to replace Syd. Mitch Mitchell (the drummer of The Hendrix Experience) mentioned that David joined the tour half way through with no other precision. During this period they will appear about ten times on the TV.

"Flaming" is another childish / poppy / psychedelic tune (it was composed by Syd before PF). Not bad though. "Pow R. Toc H." is a jazzy impro song. At times some fearful and strange noises appear (I guess this feeling would rise with the use of some popular products from that period). Being non addicted to those, I am not very enthusiastic about this song either.

"Take up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" is composed by Roger. It was an attempt to recreate the Floyd's sound on stage but the middle part of it was edited by Norman Smith (one of the producer). Drum part reminds me a bit the one for "Set The Control". Good psyche moment again.

"Interstellar Overdrive" is another great tune; comparable to "Astronomy". Again, it is such a pity they didn't investigate more into this direction for the other tracks. This could have led to a more solid effort. Pure craziness and "trip" oriented. This track sounds like they used to do when playing live (although it could last for about half an hour...). "The Gnome" is again a tune that could easilly be skipped. Sounds like a very poor Beatles song. Same applies to "Scarecrow", "Chapter 24" and "Bike". Still quite innocent, the melodies are more catchy. As far as "Bike" is concerned, Norman Smith one of EMI's staff producers, will say that it was one of the last tracks where Syd was truely in control (it is the last track of the album, but not the last one to be recorded).

As a commentator says in the DVD "Pink Floyd : From the Inside", it is quite an overrated album. I fully agree. Although it was quite innovative and different for that period, too few good tracks sit here to really enjoy it. For as much as I have seen of them in videos, it must have been a better experience to watch them live with their use of light shows already. I guess it must add to the atmosphere and provide a unique ambiance... The album will reach Nr. 6 in the UK charts. This album is the archetype of the psyche sound and is reminiscent of some bands from the West coast (Airplane, The Doors ...). Some great moments like "Astronomy" and "Interstellar" and several good ones for this emblematic "psychedelic prog rock" album. The producers wanted to avoid long tracks on this album. This will lead to some kind of disappoinment from their fans who were expecting those ones to remind their live sets. I guess we would all have loved that. Three stars.

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Opening with Astronomy Domine, my favourite of their big psych work-outs, even here in truncated form, Pink Floyd's debut album immediately attracts attention. A mixture of outright psych indulgence like perennial concert favourite Interstellar Overdrive, and catchy pop hooks filled with warped characters like the gnome Grimble Gromble [inspired by Tolkien] though sadly the Cambridge knicker-snatcher Arnold Layne was not included. It's all sung in Barrett's characteristic English whimsy of course which both lends its charm as well as rooting the album solidly in the 60s, but when it works it is a brilliant evocation of the period that reaches out across the years. And who isn't moved by the imagery of Bike?
Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars As close to Prog Rock as you are likely to find in 1967

The impact this album must have had on it's release must have been staggering - and it must have been easy to fall into a "love or hate" category, as the stunning production puts this album into a class of its own.

Forget Acid Rock - this is nothing like the psychedelic noodling and simple, catchy melodies of Jefferson Airplane et al, it's a collection of music that's uniquely English and that can only have been produced in the late 1960s, as it captures perfectly the essence of the London Underground circuit (and I don't mean the Circle line here...).

The side openers, "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive" are legendary - and rightly so. The painstaking attention to detail in what seems like spontaneous, even random music is incredible - small wonder neither sound quite right when covered by other bands - you could play every note precisely right, but completely lose the feeling that Pink Floyd manage to muster.

Those are covered in minute detail in other reviews, so I'm going to turn my attention to the remaining songs - short shots of psychedelic sublimity that often (wrongly) get dismissed as simple pop songs.

Every song on this album feels like it was forged in a different dimension, and "Lucifer Sam" is no exception. While the riffing is superficially unremarkable, and the overall construction a standard song with additional instrumental passages, the mashing up of time caused by Barrett's guitar experimentation and Wright's keyboard during the song and particularly the instrumental bridges lend a peculiarly spontaneous feel to the whole piece.

"Matilda Mother" carries remarkable presence, thanks to the reverb-drenched vocals and heavy-handed stereo panning. Gone here is feeling of a standard song - there is a refrain as opposed to a chorus, and the instrumental bridge is a pure slice of Eastern- feeling psychedelia thanks to Wright's modal keyboard runs and Barrett's drones. The coda (the instrumental passage that closes the piece) bears a striking resemblance to "Norwegian Wood" by the Beatles - was this a co-incidence, given that the Fab Four were also in Abbey Road (working on Sgt Pepper...) at the time the Floyd were creating their debut?

"Flaming" begins with a crushing, deep dischord, which fades to a pastoral song with the most incredible production effects thus far - the cuckoo that follows the line "Lazing in the foggy dew" still makes me jump and look around to this day, and the tinkly bells that accompany the line "Watching buttercups cup the light" has the feeling of perfect timing without any real reason why - but my favourite bit is the instrumental section that follows the line "Hey-ho, here we go, ever so high...". Beautiful pastoral images are painted with a positively lysergic wash in the soundscape.

The opening vocalisations of "Pow R Toc H" are madness encapsulated, and Rick Wright shows a gentle bluesy jazz edge to his keyboard skills, roaming through modes in what would appear to be a jam, until a sudden change and darkening of mood brings more vocalisation madness and guitar experimentation from Barrett. Like decent Jazz, the instruments give each other plenty of room for expression, and Mason's sensitive percussion brings out every bit of drama and mood change, until Wright hits us with a new, mellower keyboard idea for the third and final section of this short piece. The vocalisations are brought back as a kind of leitmotif, showing again the great patience in construction that the Floyd were capable of.

"Take up Thy Stethescope and Walk" features a pulsating backdrop against which Wright and Barrett experiment to their heart's contents, with Waters providing the earth, or link to reality with his bass before Mason mashes up the drums for a blend of psychedelic swirls and colours in yet another cunningly constructed instrumental - or so it would seem! A vocal section kicks in just in time for the ending.

"The Gnome" sould be seen as just a novelty item - something to dismiss. But doing so would be to miss out on even more fantastic psychedelic imagery, with great production enhancing wonderful musical exploration. Sure, the lyrics aren't anything to go wild about - but the vocal treatment and sympathetic instrumentation combined with Barrett's amazing ear for a melody are.

"Chapter 24" has a really epic feel to it, and is too short by far. The Eastern feeling (common to much psychedelic music) returns, but, as ever, it's in the perfect instrumentation that satisfaction is to be found. Unusually, there is no "beat" to this piece, and hence it has a unique ambient quality that I cannot think of a precedent to.

"The Scarecrow" has an accompanying video, which is full of the same pastoral images that the song paints. The constant clippy cloppy hooves paint a picture of a comical horse dancing to what is essentially a very simple song - but with Syd's own brand of rythmic invention and lyrical genius. The closing instrumental section gives a taste of what you want - a little more intensity in sound - before finally moving to the most eccentric track on an already eccentric album.

"Bike" has probably been covered in enough depth elsewhere, and is just as notable as any other song on this album for its amazing instrumental arrangement, uses a refrain rather than a chorus, and each verse increases in intensity until the final couple of minutes of musical madness. The room of clockwork toys positively drips with cavernous reverberation until the maniacal laugh that closes the piece that this little section is a trip all by itself.

All in all, an astonishing and practically unprecendeted debut from a band that justifiably deserves all the credits it still gets, despite the odd turkey here and there.

It's Progressive Rock, alright - before its time, yet unmistakably a product of its time.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars [Review of standard CD release and album content] Yes, it is a masterpiece. I understand why some people have such trouble accepting that and yet must respectfully correct them. You must remember this was pre-White album and you cannot judge this next to mid 70s classic mainstream Floyd. It was a different time, different band, and different universe spiritually.

This is one of the most important albums of the last century and must be experienced with an open mind and a 1967 London mindset. It did not simply try to take the period pop sound and add the group's spin, but rather created a new sound completely born of the eccentricities of their Cambridge upbringing, the natural beauty surrounding the town (Grandchester Meadows and the like), psychedelics (in Syd's case), and their artistic interests. It was a revolutionary sound and it holds up beautifully today because it is real, unlike some other 60s albums that sound very stale now.

This is an album that I hated the first many times I heard it as a teen. I had the same complaints as many here, too weird, too silly, where's that smooth Gilmour sound to party to? Wrong I was. It took years for me to understand how perfect this album is, and why the Floyd members themselves praise Syd so highly. It belongs on the shelf of any person claiming a respectable Prog (or even Rock) collection. If you're a newbie to music, just make sure you're ready for a strange trip. This ain't no "Learning to Fly," this is the real deal.

[Review of 40th anniversary special edition 3-disc release] The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is one of the most important albums in rock history and a singular work of genius by the late great Syd Barrett. It is a perfect testament to a brief moment in London history, that like the Summer of Love in the Haight, was essentially over by the time the public figured out it was happening. Only the people who were there in 66 and 67 will know what it was really like. As a big fan of Barrett and his muse I had high expectations of what a 40th anniversary edition might be like. For the most part it is one huge bummer. Let's get the biggest atrocity out of the way first before reviewing the package content.

As a Floyd fan, I am really disgusted with the surviving band members for the lack of their personal contributions and recollections, their memories of this most special album. Come on!! This is the big 40th special edition, it's a groundbreaking album, and Syd just passed away. Could there have been a bigger MISSED OPPORTUNITY GUYS for the inclusion of a page or two from Roger, Rick, Nick, even Dave and Norman Smith? For such a big moment, I would think each could have taken a moment to contribute their personal memories of the sessions, their views on Piper's place in history, and most importantly a bit of gratitude to their recently fallen band leader. But of course there must be some liner notes by a journalist, or some studio notes from Abbey Road, right? No. Nada. They may have some lame reason why this wasn't feasible, frankly I don't care. Guys with their power could have made something very special happen here if they had the will, sadly, they did not. But think for a moment how cool those pages of personal notes would have been in this little book format they released. Rant over.

Let's take a look at what you get for your money, considering that many of you have already purchased Piper several times in various forms. You get two versions of the actual remastered album, the stereo version and the mono version. This is nice for mono fans and audiophiles with trained ears who can appreciate the differences. Then there is the all important bonus third disc of extras. This is where many Floyd fans are frustrated, wishing they had released all of the missing lost recordings like Vegetable Man, Scream Thy Last Scream, etc.My understanding is that they chose to stick with only the songs that were a product of the actual Piper sessions and not get into the slightly later stuff. Whether this is the real reason or whether they just saw more opportunity in releasing those in yet another package is for Floyd fans to debate. On this bonus disc you will get Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, and Paintbox which were already out there on Relics and Saucerful. The more interesting items are Candy And A Current Bun and Apples And Oranges (two versions), two singles. These are really nice psychedelic pop songs though probably not as strong as Piper tracks. Then there is an alternate version of Matilda Mother and two different versions of Interstellar Overdrive. These are very cool because Syd never really did anything the same way twice. As with Syd's solo work, "alternate versions" are gold because they are often like another new song, a completely different take or feel. That is not so much the case here because Syd had more constraints than he would have later, but they're different enough to get excited about for Barrett fans. So if you don't care about a mono mix, and you don't care about these different versions, there is really no reason to spend the extra money if you own the standard Piper.

Let's move on to the packaging. Looks impressive on the web scans, doesn't it? It's nothing to get too excited about. For all that packaging, you get a few pages with lyrics and photos. The reproduction of Syd's collage notebook is of interest to very hard core Syd devotees and those folks will already have this in their possession. For the regular Floyd fan this little 12 page booklet will mean nothing more than what their 2nd grader brought home from art class. Syd's artistic jottings and musings are nice but they are not exactly as essential as his music. That's all there is. The package itself is of fair quality, I have a hunch that the glued portion of the construction may not hold up that well if one opens it often to remove CDs, but we'll see. The CDs are held in digipak holders glued to the inside and back covers. The back one that holds discs 2 and 3 is really cheesy, they place one disc partially over the other so that they can touch, and so you must remove the top disc if you want to get the one on the bottom. Sure it's not the end of the world, but again, this is Pink Floyd. You would think they could afford to do this thing up really nice. Maybe they decided they'd try harder for the 50th anniversary.

Piper (and Pink Floyd, and Syd) are favorites of mine. You'll note I gave Piper 5 stars in my album review. I don't mean to be overly negative here but I wanted to make damn sure people realize this "Special Edition" is mostly hype.ZERO LINER NOTES for they don't spend extra money if these little tidbits are not important to them personally. I am really amazed this is the best they could do, given their budget freedoms and the importance of this material. This is 5-star music but this release is 2 stars, for hard core fans and collectors only. Everyone else should stick with their regular Piper remaster until the 50th anniversary edition is released. Hopefully Roger will grace us with a few of his wise musing at that time. [In the meantime, Syd fanatics will get far more bang for their buck with the new Mick Rock book, featuring tons of stunning rare Syd photos and sincere interesting recollections of their personal friendship-see my review in the book forum.]

Review by fuxi
4 stars Progarchives is a peculiar site. Quite a few reviewers seem so enamoured of Pink Floyd's classic 1970s albums (particularly MOON and WISH) that they don't know how to deal with THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, which is a totally different kettle of fish. When people rate ANIMALS (or the dreadful THE WALL) higher than this astonishing debut, something must be dreadfully wrong...

THE PIPER doesn't offer you sedate, organ-led symphonic suites or misanthropic rock songs with fabulously bombastic guitar solos. It's an all-out attack on the senses. It's supposed to make you see VISIONS, for goodness' sake! Simply put, it's one of the most original British albums of the 1960s. Naive, childlike pop songs are combined with wonderfully unsettling sonic experiments.

Between the two World Wars, Dadaists and Futurists (operating mainly in Paris, Berlin, Moscow and New York) shocked the world with chaotic, overwhelmingly unmelodious musical experiments. They reached hardly more than a handful of listeners. In the 1960s, however, Pink Floyd gave the world "Pow R Toc H", "Interstellar Overdrive" and other outrageous compositions, which they would go on to sell to millions.The importance of such as revolution is hard to overstate. The Floyd put their stamp on most of the Space Rock and Krautrock bands you'll find on this site, and they also had considerable influence on avant-garde jazz. Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal's brilliant early albums for ECM are full of Floydean echoes.

At the time of writing, a new 2-disc edition of THE PIPER has been announced, which will include, among other things, two of Syd Barrett's best early songs, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play". Since the original album version of THE PIPER is slightly less than 42 minutes, this kind of treatment was long, long overdue. You can always count on EMI for overcharging the listener for relatively small amounts of music - witness the way they're still trying to sell us the Beatles...

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was quite a remarkable debut at the time. Pink Floyd had a unique and unusual sound compared to other groups from the period and they had the oddball Syd Barrett at the helm, with his strange, psychedelic lyrics. At that time and many years later, this work was considered groundbreaking. To this day quite a lot of people and historians still think so.

I can respect the historical importance of this work, but I find I listen to this less and less as I grow older. To me, it hasn't aged well like Pink Floyd's 1970s albums. Maybe most people overlook the sloppy musicianship or the sloppy production and see through to Barrett's genius, whatever that may be. The band was quite young and not quite so skilled on their instruments. Barrett certainly had some interesting ideas, but his lyrics leave much to be desired as well as his vocal delivery. The band seems to play its best on Interstellar Overdrive, a psychedelic jam instrumental. That's obvious because this is what they excelled in during live concerts. Here the band plays tightly and explores some really interesting sounds. Other songs of note are Lucifer Sam and the very strange Bike (which is worth hearing if you've never heard it before). The rest of the material doesn't seem very inspiring to me. It has more of the feel of a couple of teenagers goofing off in the garage. They have their moments, but the overall impression approaches mediocrity.

By all means get this if you're interested in the beginnings of progressive rock and psychedelic rock. It does lay a foundation for the future of both genres. However, if you're just looking for something like a masterpiece, you may be wondering what the big deal is. Essential for historical significance and Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett fans. For the rest, it's good enough for three stars.

Review by Hercules
1 stars My first thoughts on hearing this in 1968 were "what the """"? It's bizarre, often atonal style and very basic musicianship is not attractive and I confess I almost gave up on Floyd altogether, especially after the next album turned out to just as bad. The one long track, Interstellar Overdrive, is passable, as are Astronomy Domine and Lucifer Sam. However, the rest is pretty awful, especially the bizarre Pow R Toc H, Take up thy Stethoscope and Walk and Bike. I guess I never took LSD or magic mushrooms so psychadelic doesn't do it for me at all. But Sid Barrett's drug problem got worse and he went, Dave Gilmour came in to sort things out and they gradually developed into one of the greatest bands in any genre. But this is not the place to start listening to them! For hardcore fans only.
Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This review is of the new 2007 40th Anniversary edition.

Firstly the packaging - this is a 3-CD set (I believe there is also a 2 CD edition) which comes in a DVD size book with cloth cover. It's very nicely produced with all the lyrics and a special booklet of Syd Barrett collages. Two complaints though - CD's 2 and 3 are placed on top of each other at the back of the book and are hard to extract and I was expected an essay or something detailing the history of the album, but there's nothing!

What of the music? Well, I must admit that this is the first time I've heard the complete album (gasp). I can't help being reminded of Andy Partridge and the Dukes of Stratosphear, as this is surely the psychedelic album that they had in mind when recording tracks like "Bike Ride to the Moon". It has a lot more in common with Sgt.Pepper than just the fact that it was recorded at Abbey Road at around the same time with the Beatles' engineer Norman Smith, but it's certainly a bit too weird for the average Beatles fan who was listening to "When I'm 64" at the time. Strange noises and lyrics about gnomes and bicycle baskets abound and it's all the work of Barrett (apart from one Waters song). I'm not a huge Floyd fan - whilst I do like them I find a lot of their work one-paced and soporific - but this is a very interesting listen (but then again, I like "Ummagumma"!). I'm not familiar enough with it to detect differences between the mono and stereo versions, but most of the Beatles albums were originally mixed in mono so it wouldn't surprise me if, like Sgt Pepper, the mono mix was different.

CD 3 contains the singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" along with some other new tracks and alternate versions of some of the original album tracks, unfortunately there is no information about the origin of the new tracks.

In summary, this is a seminal album of any genre and this is a nice package but I have to deduct a star for the lack of information.

Review by russellk
5 stars By the time this debut album emerged to shake the UK psychedelic scene in 1967, that scene was already at least two years old, as were the aspirations of the founding PINK FLOYD members. They had paid their dues gigging all around the country and, while they were by no means gifted musicians, they had that most essential commodity to 'make it': a superb songwriter.

SYD BARRETT is such a bittersweet figure. This album is his crowning achievement, capturing the free spirit of the age in a series of pop vignettes interspersed with courageous experimental psychedelic freakouts. His influence can be heard in every subsequent PINK FLOYD album, a ghost on WATERS' shoulder. Here he combines crafted ingenue - an artless childishness augmented by his unaffected vocals - with genuine compositional ability and pop hooks. The resultant music is always fun even when it asks serious questions, is always strange even at its most straightforward. As with so many musicians of this period, he burned bright for such a brief time, then flamed out.

'Astronomy Domine' starts the album strongly, with RICK WRIGHT handling the vocals. The opening notes of 'Lucifer Sam' send me straight to my DVD copy of the Gerry Anderson TV series 'UFO'. The low-slung guitar sounds featuring here and in 'Matilda Mother' are so evocative of the six years from 1967 to 1973. Fairy stories, memories of childhood, a witch's black cat, all fodder for BARRETT's mysticism. 'Flaming' brings in overt drug references and the first of many psychedelic freakouts. BARRETT here is a child, describing his trip with simplicity and beauty ('Watching buttercups cup the light') and behaving with playful ambiguity ('I won't touch you/But then I might').

The heart of the album is a series of pyschedelic experiments. 'Pow R Toc H' is WATERS' heavy-handed attempt to fit in with BARRETT's delicate vision, and it strikes the only sour note on the album, sounding more ominous than playful. 'Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk' begins as a pop song, but within thirty seconds has become another psych/blues jam. Fun but not essential. 'Interstellar Overdrive' is absolutely essential, however, even though the live version on 'Ummagumma' is superior. The legendary opening guitar riff is followed all too quickly by nearly eight minutes of improv insanity. The single plucked guitar note is particularly strange - yes, we've heard weirder since, but this was 1967. Any self-respecting psychedelic group has tried their hand at this track (including THE MARS VOLTA with JOHN FRUSCIANTE at the helm one night when CEDRIC was unwell). The studio version here finishes with a stereo-effect reprise of the opening riff, adding to the general weirdness and air of experimentation.

The album's third part returns to the beautiful BARRETT palette of psych pop. 'Gnome' is a playful return to the fairy tale, as is 'Scarecrow', reminding listeners in a very late 60's DONOVAN-like fashion to pursue their inner child. 'Chapter 24' is a strange song among strange songs, a tarot-like reading of the seasons, or perhaps a compendium of fortune cookie advice. I can't work out whether BARRETT wants to be taken seriously here, though I tend to think this is a piss-take. 'Scarecrow' might as well be BARRETT's unconscious autobiography. Read the lyrics closely...

'He's resigned to his fate 'cause life's not unkind. He doesn't mind. He stood in a field where barley grows.'

'Bike' deserves a mention on its own. Because of its appearance on PINK FLOYD compilations it is well known, and is many fans' first encounter with BARRETT's whimsy. But in treating 'Bike' as a novelty song, people miss the point. 'Look,' he is saying to his girl - and to us. 'This is my life - a collection of small and insignificant things. Once you see them the way I do, you can come into this other room, this central room of my life, in which music occupies the central place, and understand what I'm about.' That's the meaning of the powerful last verse, and explains why the music slows down for it. I find this song compelling and extremely poignant, the crowning moment of SYD BARRETT's genius.

There's barely a wasted moment here. ROGER WATERS' latter-day self indulgence is nowhere to be found: the band here have exercised admirable restraint. Other bands would have filled a side with 'Interstellar Overdrive' (a la 'In-a-Gadda-da-Vida') but here they present a stripped-down version. Others also would have found a place for the various singles they'd released, but not PINK FLOYD.

This is a blueprint for the psychedelic era, a proto-prog album, and essential listening for anyone trying to understand the evolution of popular music, let alone PINK FLOYD.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is the classic debut album from legendary prog rockers Pink Floyd. It sticks out from the rest of Pink Floyd´s discography as it has Syd Barret on vocals and guitar. Syd had a very fragile mind and had to leave Pink Floyd after this album. He was replaced by David Gilmour who has been with Pink Floyd ever since. Syd Barret had a major role on The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, as his voice is very distinct and his lyrics are very strange. His guitar style is very much rooted in sixties rock, but there are also some pretty inventive things going on here and there like on the spacy opener Astronomy Domine.

The music is very psychadelic with weird lyrics and spaced out sounds on top of more conventional sixties rock. The vocal based tracks like Lucifer Sam, Matilda Mother, Flaming, The Gnome and Bike are all great examples of how Pink Floyd sounded at the time. Astronomy Domine stands out from the rest of the songs at it is a timeless classic. Pink Floyd never made a song like this again and no other band has ever been close. This song is a true progressive classic.

There are some psychadelic jam session tracks here too in Pow R. Toc H. and Interstellar Overdrive where I find the first the most rewarding. Interstellar Overdrive isn´t very exciting to me. It´s way too long and noisy to fit my taste.

The musicianship is good and you can hear that this band has great chemistry ( no pun intended).

The production is actually a very good sixties production. One of the best psychadelic productions from that time.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a classic psychadelic rock album and it´s essential to that style. I have always enjoyed this album tremendously, but the instrumental noisy tracks never excited me much so I´ll rate the album 4 stars. This is a must hear of course.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pink Floyd begins!

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is where it all began for Floyd. While in 1967 this was top notch stuff from any band - wild and experimental - these days it stands as a monumental insight for one of progressive rock's greatest acts. This is nothing like anything you'll hear from Floyd afterwards, since at this point they were led by genius songwriter Syd Barrett who took the band down much more psychedelic roads, but who was also trying to make the band more of a commercially viable band with their shorter and poppier songs, a few of which were released as singles before the album (never to make it onto the actual debut, but would resurface later on compilations like Relics) such as the very Beatles-esque See Emily Play and the always fun cross-dressing romp Arnold Layne. But enough about that, let's get to the album, shall we?

This album is great, but it is wildly different in style, even within itself. This makes for a very interesting mix, and a very good one at that. On the one hand we have the shorter and less complex songs that still make for an earful like the bass dominant Lucifer Sam and the highly relaxing Flaming, these ones will likely never be remembered as ''epic prog masterpieces'', but their melodies and amusing lyrics really do make for a good listen. Other songs on the album become completely bizarre. Lyrically, songs like The Gnome and Scarecrow will have the audience thinking ''whaaa...?'' and then laughing at their own need to try and understand the lyrics. Bike has to be Pink Floyd's most fun song to play to anyone who thinks they know the band inside and out after they've heard Dark Side Of The Moon ten times since it is an absolutely mad piece with quirky lyrics and some of the most fun an jumpy instruments to ever make their way onto a psychedelic album.

But we're missing the best part yet. The Truly psychedelic pieces on the album are what the band would soon evolve off of to form what would later be known as progressive rock. Astronomy Domine would still be played by the band in concert to their last days together, never sounding dated (which really shows how far ahead of their time the band was). It's also a surprisingly heavy piece with Barrett's guitar piercing the foreground. The biggest standout on the album, by far, has to be the longest track on the album, Interstellar Overdrive. This psychedelic instrumental was apparently written by Barrett after he had gotten his hands on some drugs and imagined himself flying between Mercury and Jupiter, which in reality were really a plum and a peach sitting on the table in front of him (if I recall my trivia correctly, that is...). Once again guitar driven and wonderfully spaced out with some great hard panning (which is rarely used well, but is here) near the climax of the song.

There's been many versions of this album released over the years as well, and I suppose it's time to give a nod to the 40th anniversary edition of the album released in 2007. This one came in two forms - one as a double album, and one as a three disc box set. Honestly, unless you don't have the album already or just must have the album in all it's forms, the two disc edition of the album is useless. It simply contains the album in mono and in stereo on two different discs with an expanded booklet. The 3 disc edition on the other hand is something else. Still more for fans thanks to its price, this one really is a good package. The first two discs are the same as the double album (mono and stereo), but the third disc is a collection of rarities and alternate takes. Some of the songs also appear on Relics, but many of the alternate songs, such as the two different versions of Interstellar Overdrive (which actually do sound different from the original, noticeably) are not available elsewhere to my knowledge. It also comes with a wonderful booklet with some great pictures and a booklet of work reprinted from a collage done by Syd, which is a nice addition. However, if you don't know what you're going to think about the album when you're buying it, you're better off with a one disc edition that includes just the album.

But let's get around to a rating, shall we? This one certainly is not for everyone, but everyone should hear it at least once. This is not Pink Floyd's masterpiece, and it isn't going to get five stars based sheerly on its importance to music (which it could in most cases), but 4 is a very appropriate rating. Recommended to all, if you haven't already heard it, just sit back and enjoy.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
5 stars The best debut, I've ever listened to!!! Unique pure psychedelic album. I'm not agree that Pink Floyd are in the section for psychedelic/space rock. I think only the four albums from the 60s are psychedelic, with only the first one pure psychedelic. This first one - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - I'm trying to review now, but this is not easy aim. It is really innovative and creative album for its time and because of that the album is acknowledged fully much later than its release. The ideas implemented and implicated in the release are still explored by many artists and bands. This album is one of the most influential of all times and a inexhaustible source of energy and creativity of the modern top musicians. For example, I listened the newest album of Oasis with strongly psychedelic influence and The Piper at the Gates of Dawn's influence in particular. If I look at the year - 1967 - I would say that this perfect musicianship on the album is achieved only for two/three years of practicing in playing. Just genius attainment for the band called Pink Floyd. Furthermore, the album has deep and qualitative sound. Everything I said makes the album 5 stars!!!
Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Interesting? I guess so. Innovative? Most likely. Is it art? Yes,is art. Do I like it, do I think it's a masterpiece? Definitely not.

My first problem with PINK FLOYD's debut album is generated in my mind, I have to confess. I just can't get over the fact that this is the same band that would give me "Animals" or "Dark Side of the Moon" or "Meddle". In a way, then, me not liking "The Piper at the Gates at Dawn" is then purely my fault.

But if that was the case, I would definitely enjoy this music if I imagined it to have been written by somebody else. There's countless examples of cases where ignoring the band playing the music made me like it even more. After all, I'm first and foremost reviewing music. And there's where I find the biggest flaw in this record: it is just not good music.

Sorry Barrett adorers all around the globe. I can't see the magic. I hear, I admit, original ideas; I detect, I confess, a talented person behind the compositions; I see potential. And that's all I see: potential. I can't be happy with poppy/psychedelic songs like "Matilda Mother" or pseudo-unique experiments like "Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" (this one crafted by future-real-masterpiece-craftsman Roger Waters.) Yes, I hear some details here and there, some original ideas that sadly don't help make the listening experience any more bearable. Sorry, I'm not happy just when I'm supposedly being exposed to originality; it first hast to be good, then original. It could be debated that something original by default is always something good. With that position, I have to say, I most fervently disagree. The world of music is full of experimental waste.

So then we reach the two songs that should, according to many, make me realize how extraordinaire this album is: "Astronomy Domine" and "interstellar Overdrive". Again, I don't fail to listen music that must've been incredibly new for the time, and yes, very progressive. They still leave me cold. The second one, in particular, appears to me as the ultimate example of why drugs and music are a perfect match, and at the same time the worst match possible. Many people see magic, "avant-garde", pure genius; I just hear a musician making noise with his guitar with certain coherence, I must say, but in the end that's it. I'll agree it can be the more interesting track in this album, but, again, that still doesn't make it good.

In the end, you should ignore me and go buy this album because it definitely is important from a historical-musical perspective, and maybe even from a purely musical one. But you'll also have to forgive me for ignoring all the people who adore and revere this record, as I certainly don't, and I'll give it the rating that it deserves for me: 2 stars for the music, 3 stars for originality. I can't round up as that would make this album as good as "Atom Heart Mother" and that's totally preposterous for me. Therefore, 2 stars sounds just fine.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' - Pink Floyd (7.5/10)

The debut album of one of the most influentially stirring Progressive bands of all time, The Piper At The Gates of dawn is a whimsical work of genius. The only truly notable compilation by founding-Floyd songwriter Syd Barrett before he left the band (due to drug issues), this album is a testament to his inate, albeit turbulent sense of originality and unabbeded creativity.

This is the album that started space rock in earnest. The opening track, 'Astronomy Domine' is a perfect example of the tripped out musical inspiration that makes this album such a work of art.

Throughout listening to this, I became certain that Syd Barrett (famous for his heavy usage of LSD) was under the influence of psychedelics for most, if not ALL of the songwriting sessions. There is a feeling of near insanity throughout the album, held however in tightly composed 'accessible' length songs. The true influence and unique style of Syd Barrett comes through full-circle in the lyrics however. While the lyrics are childish (some could say downright inane), thats the pure magic and beauty of it. While the words and content are (for the most part) basic and random, theres a sudden realization that comes after a few spins of the disc that somehow, everything that Barrett says in this makes sense, given a bit of creative leighway.

There is only one other album of this time that made such advancements in Psychedelic (or should I say, LSD influenced) music, being the Beatles' Revolver. However, taking into consideration is Pink Floyd's debut, and given how uncompromisingly original it is, it deserves nothing less than four stars, if not five. Any fan of Psychedelic music will appreciate this greatly; hopefully as much as I did! On the other hand, some Pink Floyd fans might not like this album; being too used to the more familiar Gilmour/Waters Pink Floyd songwriting style.

Overall, it's a fantastic record, recommended for any Prog-fan who can appreciate music that doesn't take itself completely seriously. I mean, where else are you going to hear music about gnomes, scarecrows, satanic cats and mice named Gerald?

Review by Einsetumadur
5 stars 13.5/15P. the world, as seen from the perspective of a disillusioned and fragile genius. Syd Barrett guides the band the way to his thoughts where he lets the band do what they want to. Spacy, deeply rooted in blues with the occasional folk and jazz influences. Neither expect hippie psychedelia, nor expect space rock à la Hawkwind. This album is eccentric as hell, but propelled the music scene a few dozen steps forward.

When I went on the page of this album on the ProgArchives the first time I was quite astonished by the low rating that the Piper At The Gates Of Dawn album has received: circa 3.90/5 stars at the moment, while Sgt. Pepper by the Beatles gets nearly 4.20/5, the debut album of the Doors even a few cents more. As we have one of my favorite albums, too, I will essay in writing a bit more about the album, the circumstances and all the songs.

It might not be what we'd call prog, but in the original sense of the word it is even more than 'progressive'. The album is precocious, it is trippy, sometimes merciless and sometimes simply charming, it is magnificent all the way through, excellently produced and quite coherent. And as more than 40 years have already passed since the recording sessions of this album, the 'masterpiece'-factor manifests itself even more - many of the modern alternative rock bands (the Smashing Pumpkins or the Red Hot Chili Peppers, for instance) have greatly been influenced by this album, ditto John Lennon of the Beatles who is said to have recorded the piece "What's The New Mary Jane?" under the influence of or with Syd Barrett in 1967/68.

Just like many other reviewers have already written this album is still far away from the music that Pink Floyd have made in the 70s, so do not expect an early Dark Side of the Moon - you might probably be disappointed.

In 1967, when the album was recorded, the Pink Floyd still included Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett as the guitarist, singer, songwriter and leader of the group, a real artist with rather quirky lyrical and musical ideas. In his youth he was inspired by musicians of several genres - from blues and jazz to pop and rock music, and later by the bands of the UK underground, the pioneers of the psychedelic scene with whom the Floyds were later in line in those years. Hence, the listener 'merely' gets to hear some shorter psych-rock/pop-pieces with many influences, which makes the album very colourful and diverting - and that is not only because of the music, but also because of the lyrics and the outstanding production - and the impression that the whole album makes on me.

Of course, this impression is linked with the outfit of the album. In 2007, the original record has been re-released as kind of a deluxe edition celebrating the 40th anniversary of the record - with the kaleidoscope-view towards the Floyd as the album cover, and a booklet with plenty of pictures of the band, their lava lamp lightshows and drawings which suit perfectly to the surreal lyrics that are printed there. Furthermore, we have a small folder with Barrett's early collages (dating 1965) including poems, 'word songs', newspaper excerpts and paintings - a good addition as well. The 40th anniversary version comprehends the album in the stereo-mix (like on the 30th anniversary remaster), the slightly different mono-mix (that was to be heard on the original LP) and a CD including 'The First Three Singles' and a handful of alternative versions coming from the archives. Releasing the hidden gems of the 'Piper' sessions, for example the avantgarde-blues piece 'Experiment', the live tracks 'Stoned Alone' and 'Reaction in G' or the abandoned single 'Scream Thy Last Scream'/'Vegetable Man', would have been more interesting for the fans, but the choice of the third disc is enjoyable though, especially because it finally made the expensive 20-minutes-sampler The First Three Singles unnecessary for the 'normal' listener.

As far as I know, this set was limited; you should try to get one soon if there are some left. If not, there is still the 2CD-version which doesn't include the bonus disc with the outtakes and which is placed inside a regular jewel case.

The opener Astronomy Domine is written in a driving 6/8 beat and can probably be called the very first real space rock tune apart from the Byrds' early space experiments, linking a really spacey text about planets and their satellites with the right music. This great song starts off with an astronaut's chatter (in fact the treated voice of the band's producer Pete Jenner) and Rick Wright's Farfisa Compact Duo organ imitating morse sounds. Afterwards, guitarist Syd Barrett enters with a jangling lick, the drums smash and pump - and Wright and Barrett provide monotonous vocals which suit greatly. After some time of oriental-influenced improvisation on the organ and the guitar, the band does a crescendo and end up in the coda: blinding signs flap, flicker flicker flicker blam pow pow - sensible or random? I don't care, in any case the piece is simply outstanding, particularly since the guitar solos have this snotty blues sound which loads of indie rock guitarists have later attempted to recreate.

Song number two is Lucifer Sam, one of the definitely darker songs on this disc, the text dealing with a Siam cat named Lucifer Sam and his probable proprietor, Jennifer Gentle - I don't know if I got it right, but I hope so. On this one, the music seems to be influenced by early hard rock music (like the Kinks), but there is plenty that makes 'Lucifer Sam' rather independent: something rattles and howls like an open window all the way through, and in the middle, Roger Waters plays a bowed bass guitar solo, an innovative technique which creates a really big effect just with very few tones. As well, I am always astonished by Mason's frantic drum playing, he really does smash everything to bits here. Somehow, the song with its smashing, rocking guitar power chords, the playfulness and this I don't care if anyone likes my music-attitude could be one of the precursors of alternative rock, at least the song has been covered by many alternative bands. Do check out the merciless cover by The Moviees (sic!) on Youtube!

The following Matilda Mother is closer to a psych/pop track, with a nice introduction on the bass guitar, distant plucking guitar notes and the Hammond organ. Syd Barrett and Rick Wright again share the lead vocal duties, whilst Syd sings the part of the child and Rick the part of the mother who tells the child (Syd) a fairytale. I like especially this nice chord progression and the improvisation part that is one of Pink Floyd's characteristic one chord jams with melodies on Phrygian scales. After a more up-beat stanza sung by Barrett, the song fades out into a waltz section with wordless vocals. A good pop song which contains many ideas that are linked very well so that the song seems neither predictable nor convoluted. The alternative version (eureka, this time at last one that really sounds different!) on the bonus CD includes different lyrics and yet another stanza, a 'fire brigade' stanza after the improvisation part, but ultimately makes a slightly overladen impression. In exchange, the vocal line in the beginning is reduced to one plain voice (singing the nice melody G-Gflat-Gsharp) instead of the polyphone arrangement on the album version. That sounds odd, but quite nice and gives the listener a chance to understand the band's arrangement of this track better.

The folky ballad Flaming is obviously the track profiting most of the mono mix: the vocals have been put through a flanger, and the freestyle centre section with the sounds of this wooden percussion instrument with the scratching sounds is now strange and blurred enough. The song itself shows Barrett's songwriting talent; dreamy lyrics, laid-back acoustic guitar strumming and Syd's charismatic, youthful voice singing a nice melody are certainly a neat mélange. The fact that this was one of the few sung Syd songs that were taken over in the Floyd's 1968 setlist reveals that the guys were also quite content about this one, and John Peel evidently liked those strange ethereal sounds, too, as he told the listeners when Pink Floyd played the piece at Top Gear 1967 (unfortunately, those BBC sessions have never been issued legally nowadays).

Pow R. Toc H. is Wright's and Mason's vehicle for their skills in jazz music on the piano, respectively the drums (especially the toms) - a jolly acoustic piece with a sedately leaping rhythm. Roger Waters and Syd Barrett provide animal-imitating vocalizations in the first half, then the instrumental stops being acoustic when Syd Barrett's electric guitar throws in a dramatic interlude with the slow vibrato of Wright's famous Compact Duo organ, which leads the track into more atmospheric regions. A very strange piece, which is very entertaining anyway.

The last one on the first LP side is Roger Waters' only piece on this LP, given the weird title Take Up thy Stethoscope and Walk. Some drum sounds start this fast-paced exploitment which soon rocks off like hardly anything in this time does. At first there is a Krautrockish stanza that always consists of Roger shouting Doctor doctor and is followed by short sentences rhyming on I'm in bed. Already in 1968 Waters had, fortunately, developed his typical style of songwriting (does anyone know his 1968 composition Incarnation of A Flower Child?), but as an energetic psychedelic rock jam it's perfectly good. Then, Rick Wright tracks one of his best and briskliest played rock solos, lots of blues and jazz licks everywhere - nice to listen to for me as a Farfisa fan. After another stanza the piece ends after 3 minutes; it must have been nice to see what PF have made from such pieces live.

Directly in the beginning of side 'B' of the LP there is the absolute stand-out track of this album, the 10-minute-psychedelic improvisation Interstellar Overdrive, a work that has often been performed live by the Pink Floyd on to the early 70s - and I think it has been played on nearly every 1967/1968 concert, too. The song begins with this outstanding heavy metal riff, with fat Farfisa organ accompaniment on the mono version. Nick Mason plays a good, breezy rhythm (already using the hanging cymbals the way he will do it with the later Floyd, too), and the string section (Roger Waters on bass guitar and Syd Barrett on guitar) knock around on the pick-ups and muted strings of their instruments. Afterwards, the band experiments with the Binson Echorec tape echo machine, leading organ and guitar sounds into giant echo loops, with the rhythm section playing around on this musical carpet. At circa 5:30, Barrett makes use of his bottleneck, and just before getting into total cacophony, the organ plays some tones and begins a short dream travel with soft guitar sounds and cymbals. From another creepy melody the main theme cristallizes itself out of this sound collage and ends the piece again. Not only an outstanding and captivating piece of music, but also one of the first longtracks, and one of the first pieces of electronic music with soundscapes. There are two alternative versions of the piece on the bonus CD, one of them just a quite boring edited unoverdubbed version of Take 2 for a French EP with minor differences to the album version, the other the really nice Take 6 which sounds quite like what the band made of the track live - especially with the follow-up guitarist David Gilmour 1968-1970. One of the most interesting versions is however the 17 minutes long UFO club recording from Jan 1967; it can be heard/watched on the London '66/'67 CD/DVD along with the other jam Nick's Boogie.

Strange wood block sounds segue into The Gnome, another acoustic ballad which is however closer to the country genre than to folk. The text deals with gnomes (yes!) and seems to be one of the pieces where the influence of the book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame can be found, in the form of this childhood's harmony and beauty. There are no keyboards and no drums on this piece; Rick Wright plays the vibraphone instead and Nick Mason just does some percussion, for example the cymbals and some wood blocks. Roger Waters plays well here, too, playing a kittenish, but mean bass accompaniment. Nice, although it's probably one of the less interesting songs on Piper - far away from bad anyway.

Chapter 24 is another of the psychedelic songs with audible influences of Indian ragas: hypnotic vocals and monotonous organ sounds remind the listener of those popular Indian harmoniums that the Tibetian monks use to play; the bell that sounds at some places in the song, also alludes to that. There are no drums on Chapter 24 likewise, just gongs/cymbals/bells, organs, the vocals and the bass (playing some Paul McCartney-ish rock licks from time to time, which is rather amusing); a piano is also faintly to be heard. The lyrics are influenced by the old Chinese text I Ching which Barrett read in those days; it's about circulations, numbers and esotericism - whatever. It's damn authentic and beautifully conceived.

Scarecrow is another of these folk/country pieces, which is very interesting because sometimes it sounds like there is not only the tricky, knocking percussion rhythm, but also something sounding like multitracked flicking. I don't know, but the rhythm sounds interesting in any case. The organ is imitating a shalm, and supplemental there is just Syd Barrett's clean electric guitar (quite an edgy riff!) and the vocals singing about a black and green scarecrow that everyone knows (probably an autobiographical song?). In the ending, an acoustic guitar and the bowed bass guitar come along and give the piece a neat folklore touch, complete with drones and all that. It was the only song from the Piper album that was put on one of the three singles to this album (the B-side of the charting See Emily Play single).

Bike is the mad ending to this colourful album, with jolly and (on the first view) childish lyrics in the first part. Especially the last stanza in fact says much about Barrett himself, even though it is unfortunately never possible to really understand what he wants to tell exactly. At the half, Barrett invites the girl which fits in with [his] world of whom we talks in the refrains to come in to the other room where there are clockworks which he wants to make work. And in fact, the last 90 seconds are the sounds of a clock, a violin, oscillators and other sundries whose sounds Barrett mixed with tape machines - after Zappa's Son of the Monster Magnet one of the earliest musique concrète pieces on a pop/rock LP - one year before John Lennon released Revolution 9 on the Beatles' White Album!

On disc 2 we have the stereo mix about which I had already talked; I originally owned this stereo mix, but I never really liked the album in that form. The mono mix really opened my eyes about the quality of the Floyd debut album - and I can really recommend this re-issue to all those, who think that Piper is boring after hearing the stereo version - and to those who already like it and want to experience new facets.

On the bonus CD there are still some pieces left, in the beginning the first single Arnold Layne(b/w Candy and A Currant Bun), quite a nice single and the first vinyl that the Floyd have published. The a-side is a nice psych/pop-song which soon reached the Top 20; the topic of tranvestitism (Arnold Layne had a strange hobby/collecting clothes - moonshine washing-line etc.) created a minor uproar, but probably this was one of the reasons for the success. But it is a great song, again with the trademark organ solo and nice plucked guitar sounds. 2006, the piece was played by David Gilmour live on his On An Island tour with David Bowie as the lead singer, which he also released as a single. The b-side is an acid rock piece with distorted and treated guitar sounds, somehow sexistic lyrics and a good 60s Kinks rock sound. Not very essential, just a totally stoned track, but with a nice organ solo.

The next single is the charting See Emily Play(b/w Scarecrow), which landed in the Top 10 and was a big success for the Pink Floyd. Though, Barrett didn't want the piece to be used as a single because he desperately wanted to stay uncommercial. I think that the piece is very uncommercial, but Barrett seems to have become so mad at this decision so that his character changed during those sessions. This rumour sounds strange, but David Gilmour suggested that when he was invited to the recording sessions as a guest in 1967. The character change may also have had other reasons, as Barrett took a lot of LSD then so that he wasn't able/willing to play full concerts anymore in early 1968. In any case, See Emily Play is a good pop tune with very odd passages at some moments and the characteristic delayed piano sounds in the stanzas. The instrumental part in the middle includes this time - apart from the obligatory organ solo the sounds of Syd using a metal zippo as a bottleneck on his electric guitar, just the way he used it in the 17-minutes-UFO club recording of Interstellar Overdrive.

The last of the three singles is Apples & Oranges(b/w Paint Box) which failed to chart, but which is probably the most interesting one. The a-side is a great piece by Syd, between strangeness (in the quirky stanzas with the distorted guitar and the fast vocal lines) and beauty (the Hammond organ soundscapes in the I love she parts and in the refrains). The added stereo version doesn't give much to me, but is probably historically interesting for some. The b-side is (along with Remember A Day) keyboarder Rick Wright's first composition for the Pink Floyd, a nice piano-laden pop piece sounding a bit like the Beatles - and also like parts of Wright's famous piece Summer '68 - a nice composition that is unfortunately much too less known. The lyrics depict feeling desorientated in the crowds (Sitting in a club with so many fools). As a child I always paid close attention to them because the rhyme was lacking at some places, now I focus on the interesting topic. There is also Wright's beloved major seventh jazz chord which is frequently used on this one.

My personal rating for this one is rather obvious, a 5/5-star-rating because the album is not only really influential and independent, but also highly enjoyable and captivating. Lovers of psychedelic rock and the Farfisa organ will surely like it, but those who just know other Floyd masterpieces should know that there are some major differences between that one and later Floyd albums, so listen to it at first. The big success of this album is that, even though it features early psychedelic rock, it doesn't sound dated or embarassing, which most definitely is due to the fact that all of these tunes represent Syd Barrett's psyche authentically. This 3CD-pack is also great: it sounds outstanding, it has a nice booklet and looks good, too and it is highly recommendable, to those who either love the original album and to those didn't really 'catch' it - the mono mix sounds far better and you should check it - and the bonus tracks are nice, too, although the abandoned Scream Thy Last Scream and all that stuff could have been finally released officially.

Review by The Sleepwalker
3 stars This is The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Pink Floyd's debut album. Most of the songs are composed by Syd Barett, who is often discribed as a genius by the other members of Pink Floyd and fans. Syd suffered from overdoses of drugs, mainly LSD, and was unable to play live. After contributing only one song on their second album, A Saucerful Of Secrets, the Pink Floyd story was over for Syd. Syd's style is very different from post-Syd Pink Floyd, the songs are no lengthy instrumentals, or powerful structured epics. In fact, Syd's compositions are very 60's, which means they include fairly simple chord patterns and not very complex structures.

The album has several ups and downs, the first song "Astronomy Domine" is a very big "up", the song has very powerful guitar playing and a very lovely solo, one of the most trippy songs Pink Floyd has ever made. The second song is a fun one too, "Lucifer Sam" has a growling guitar riff and a catchy chorus, the song is not much more than a fun song though. Next is "Mathilda Mother", a pretty mellow one, much smoother than the previous two, the song has a very egyptian style verse and a pretty short organ solo. Mathilda Mother is just as Lucifer Sam not a very memorable one, though it is a fun song. After Mathilda Mother we get "Flaming", which is just as Mathilda Mother kind of mellow, the organ in this song is fantastic, I think. This song does have something special the previous two songs lack, I can enjoy this one much more than those.

The next song is a weird one "Pow R. Toc H.", the intro makes me smile every time, the intro proves Syd Barett's experimental abilities. The fun intro segues into a very jazzy middle part, nice piano playing by Richard Wright with Syd's experimental sounds on the background. The next song "Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" is a composition by Roger Waters, though it does sound a bit like some of Syd's compositions, it is more guitar and organ driven though. I've heard some pretty negative things about this song, but I think it is a pretty good song. "Interstellar Overdrive" is the lengthiest song on the album, lasting over nine minutes. It starts out with a catchy guitar riff and segues into a very lengthy jam, I can enjoy this jam, but I think it lasts a little bit too long, one of the highlights of the album though.

Next is "The Gnome", probably my least favorite of the album, Syd sing some of the lyrics in a pretty fun way, but the song just can't keep me intrested, even though it's only two minutes in length. "Chapter 24" is a decent song, it is in the same style as Flaming, but it's more vocal driven and is not as good as Flaming. Next is "Scarecrow", which I think is a very nice one, it has a sort of medieval feeling to it, I also like Syd's singing on this song pretty much. The final song on this album is "Bike", one of the happiest song I know, not neccecarily, but it's a very fun one.

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is a one of a kind album, Syd's fate is very unfortunate, but I think if he would lead the band further on Pink Floyd wouldn't be as great as they would be. I rate the album three stars cause it's not bad at all but has only a few great songs, most of them are only decent.

Review by Warthur
5 stars The decline of Syd Barrett after the release of this confident and diverse debut is, without a doubt, a musical tragedy. Yes, maybe we wouldn't have had The Dark Side of the Moon or Wish You Were Here if Syd had remained at the lead of the band, but just imagine what we could have had in their place!

The songs on this album fall into two distinct types; the first side of the album and some of the second side consists of trippy, psychedelic affairs that can, without warning, serve as springboards for the band to take off on an improvisational tangent to God only knows where; "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Astronomy Domine" are doubtless the best examples of these compositions. After "Interstellar Overdrive" dies down the rest of the album is devoted to the other side of Syd's compositions; good-natured, blissed-out fairy tales and nursery rhymes along the lines of "The Scarecrow" or "Bike". Whilst they do point to the fractured, repetitive efforts of Syd's abortive solo career, they manage to be far more coherent than those; if they are a retread from adulthood into the storybook worlds of youth, Syd is at least fully aware of it (just look at "Matilda Mother" if you want confirmation of that), and is willing to take us along with him. There is a sense of knowingness and experience about "Bike" (for example) that you tend not to get with nursery rhymes meant for children; Syd is taking us back to the state of mind we had as children but still talks to us as adults and peers as he does so. It reminds me, in fact, of the first few T.Rex albums, from before Bolan and Took dropped the "yrannosaurus" from the band name, and you can imagine Syd eventually making a solo career out of making similar albums to those. Alas, it wasn't to be.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My friends and I, once upon a time, used to listen to music and play board games (mostly Risk), and we listened to quite a bit of old Pink Floyd. For those who are mostly familiar with the band's more familiar works, this earliest album can prove quite shocking.

"Astronomy Domine" When I think of psychedelic 1960s rock, I think of a certain Jefferson Airplane album and "Astronomy Domine." The vintage guitar sounds, coupled with soft, moseying vocals, and an unconventional chord progression make for some far out business. Syd Barrett-penned music involves a lot of semitones, even with chords bopping back and forth around half-steps. It even has a spacey introduction, setting the overall mood for the album.

"Lucifer Sam" What essentially could pass for James Bond music is ultimately a song about Barrett's cat. Electric guitar pounds out a descending riff, which falls out of an echo machine.

"Matilda Mother" For the first time, listeners of Pink Floyd hear the enchanting voice of keyboardist Richard Wright. The dark Phrygian mode the organ solo is in during its solo adds a sinister layer.

"Flaming" This fanciful song has a childlike quality, and as usual, a seemingly darker nature underneath. There's a powerful acoustic guitar chugging out the rhythm during parts, but mostly the music is vocal, with some steady drums, bass, and organ. The instrumental section in the middle is a bit haunting.

"Pow R. Toc H." Percussive and high-pitched vocals begin this highly experimental track, before Wright has a piano solo over simple bass and drums, all heavily panned to one side. After a second wild section, there's some light organ and soft electric guitar. The piece ends with the album's most bizarre moment, cementing it as my least favorite on the album.

"Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" Repetitive rhyming lines punctuated by vocal sputtering, and crispy electric guitar are what this Roger Waters-penned song is all about. Given the writer, the bass stands out much further in the mix.

"Interstellar Overdrive" Essentially an instrumental improvisational jam, this is downright bizarre! The bass is steady, the drums of Nick Mason simple and panned all the way to one side of the mix, with some gritty and "out-there" electric guitar playing from Barrett. This piece soon becomes freeform, punctuated by peculiar guitar noises and other weird sounds. The ending pans from side to side rapidly, and can almost make one listening through headphones dizzy! This can definitely weird out those who call themselves Pink Floyd fans but only know the 1970s output!

"The Gnome" This is a fun little romp with some silly lyrics.

"Chapter 24" Loosely based on the Chinese tome I Ching, this song has a prominent melody and some interesting keyboard work and bass.

"Scarecrow" A clicking and clocking begin this song, which is another lighthearted song featuring a lead keyboard. The lyrics seem to describe the existential problems of being the titular being.

"Bike" A jaunty song, this has some strange lyrics, which may prove much simpler than they seem, but given the cacophonic, and almost horrifying final moment of the album, it seems that isn't the case.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I can't say I love this album, but I respect it. The best Syd Barrett album ( with PF or solo), it's really very important in all rock music history.

The music is really what we name psychedelic/space rock. Or the crazy mix of british folk roots , some blues-rock, few jazzy arrangements and plenty of early sound effects ( proto ambient sounds?).

Anyway, songs are different, mostly has it's own melody, with very experimental (for the time) structure and arrangements. In fact, almost revolutionary album. "Astronomy Domine" is the best and most representative song.

Even if now it sounds more as historical artifact, the album is still pleasant for listening.

I like middle PF very much, but early space/psychedelia just isn't my cup of tea. But even with that point of view, I feel the magic and atmospheric beauty of that work.

P.S. I own UK version with Astronome Domine on it.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a huge fan favorite but I have never been entirely impressed by it it. There are absolutely brilliant tracks Astronomy Domine, Lucifer Sam and Instellar Overdrive that are almost solely responsible for the birth of one of my favorite genrese: kraut. But a lot on this album is fairly typical psychedelic stuff that everybody was doing around 66-67.

On subsequent solo albums Barrett has continued to prove that he was a whimsical songwriter with flashes of genius but also with many moments of basic chord strumming psych-pop with only rare hints of his frail talent.

I would normally opt for a fine 3.5 album with some essential moments. Considering this is from 67 it is sure one of the most outstanding release of that year. I personally prefer the debut from the Nice though.

Review by thehallway
3 stars London. 1967. Psychedelia. Need I say more? Not really, but given the 100 word rule, I will.

'Piper...' is a fantastic debut, within it's genre. It really is a comsic gem, but you have to get your head around it. You have to listen to it whilst continuously reminding yourself of the three words I started this review with. Otherwise, it can lose you. There is a good music/lyric balance on this record (something Dave Gimour would later strive for) as well as plenty of repetitive whimsical lyricism, LSD-style soloing, funky improvisation, and repetitive whimsical lyricism. Did I mention repetitive whimsical lyricism?

...The imagery is, like anything written by the late Syd Barrett, strange. But the songs are musically sound, and whilst some are better than others, there are no glaringly obvious weak points on the album. Wisely for their debut, the band stick to mainly jazz and pop orientated tunes, only occasionally delving into the endless possibilities of psychedelic noodling ('Pow R. Toc H.', 'Interstellar Overdrive') and the very English area of acoustic folk ('The Gnome', 'Scarecrow'). The recording is of course, dated, but well produced in mono. And the ratio of Waters' material to everyone else's is astonishingly small, which probably works in this album's favour. For fans of later Floyd it won't leave much of a mark, but theres a sense of fun on 'Piper...' that is rare for this band. If anything it seems even more significant now that it's primary contributors are dead. But remember, London, 1967, Psychedelia...

Review by friso
4 stars Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

A very likable and psychedelic early debut. Only Soft Machine managed to start in such a fashion.

I dislike Dark Side of the Moon, I get bored of Wish you where Here, Animals is ok and The wall has it's moments. Yeah I can say I liked most albums from the debut to Live at Pompeii, so I'm an first halve Pink Floyd fan. On the Piper at the gates of Dawn we hear an extremely naive but inventive Pink Floyd let by founding member Syd Barrett. His vocals, lyrics and compositional style is the main ingredient throughout the album.

The album features two main styles. The first is the dirty instrumental progressive/psychedelic rock with rock'n roll and surf (sort of) influences. The spacey and truly progressive opener Astronomy Domine is an essential song for progressive music. An other examples of this side of the record is the lengthy (for the time of release) Interstellar Overdrive that has an almost acid feel at times and a lot of improvisations. Most of the songs feature elements of this style, but the main focus lies on the psychedelic songwriting of Barrett which is the second style to be found on this album.

The songwriting of Barrett on this album gave him the status of cult-hero and has given momentum for the 'what-if'-debate since his departure of the band between in '68 (if I'm correct). The songs of Barrett are somewhat unpredictable and have an innocent (sometimes almost childish) feel and bizarre but inventive lyrics. His vocals sound very artistic with that confused way of bringing his story. The songs are diverse but always recognizable Barrettish.

The keys of Richard Wright are great on the opening track, but the songs leave little space for him. Later on his part in the Pink Floyd effect would become more important. Roger Waters plays functional bass-lines and the drums of Nick Mason are still simplistic on this album. Later on the remaining band-members would become true master of their instruments (except for Mason who's drumming skills would drastically decline during the Dark Side period).

Now comes the main part of this review in which I will raise an important question. How important is still album today anno 2010 (43 years after it's release)? It's historical significance is not to be denied, but does it still work?

The recording of the album is quite good for '67 and is very likable for fans of early rock music but it might be a problem for the modern prog generation. The compositions still sound fresh and inspired, but the combination of psychedelic songs and progressive tracks might not be rewarding for people who have a hard time liking the song parts. The lyrics are of great importance here (Waters even stated that it's the only element of the album he still likes). As a conclusion of this part I would like to say that the styles of Pink Floyd that made this album so great had disappeared completely during the Meddle period, never to return. If you only like albums after this period you've got no guarantee that you'll this album.

Conclusion. Historically very significant and perhaps the most progressive album of '67 (Zappa being the only other Progressive band who released an album this year). I myself like the album very much. It's full of sympathetic ideas and it shows Barrett at the top of his game. If you want to begin on this album I'd recommend to first watch the Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett story to understand the context of the music. As a rating I will give four stars, not yet a masterpiece but still essential for every serious progressive collection, but...

Listen to it while understanding it's historical context!

Review by tarkus1980
5 stars While most people associate the band with the 1970's epic Roger Waters rants, that is by no means how they began. For that matter, their beginning was hardly much less significant or amazing than the 'classic' albums. Early Pink Floyd was led, of course, by the oh-so-infamous Syd Barrett. Syd had three characteristics which ensured that he would have a viciously loyal cult following to this day, and it's hard to imagine Pink Floyd without having ever had him around to loosen things up. First, he was a phenomenal songwriter, both in terms of melodies and lyrics, and I will never step back from arguing that. On the one hand, he came up with all sorts of little childish ditties about mice without houses, the joys of playing hide and seek, creepy cats, what it's like to be read a bedtime story and other playful things. And although his voice wasn't exactly phenomenal, there was an overwhelmingly innocent and little-boyish quality behind it that made his songs even more enjoyable. That he liked childish stories and concepts shouldn't be too surprising, though; just look at the album's name, which is taken from a chapter title in "Wind in the Willows." But that wasn't all he was good at, no no. His second specialty was dark, 'cosmic' space/drug rockers, and he had just as much talent in creating those as he did in making his simpler songs. Of course, these numbers usually freaked out the concert-going fans who had come to hear the cute childish ditties, but hey, they should've known better.

His second significant attribute was that he was a heavy duty LSD addict. It wasn't entirely his own fault (legend has it that his friends dowsed his coffee with the stuff repeatedly without his knowledge or consent until he was completely hooked), but he was one nevertheless. Now, acid can certainly aid in the creation of art which is marvelous and beyond comprehension, but alas, too much of it and your mind starts to go. Such was the case with Syd on this album. Very, very soon after Piper was released, the band had to let him go because he was 80% gone mentally, and this was hurting the group and their stage act considerably. Nevertheless, the fragile state of Syd's mind during this album's sessions mostly works to the album's advantage; "mad" geniuses almost always produce their best work right before they completely collapse, fall off a cliff, etc, and Syd was a mad genius through and through. His mind and his creativity were absolutely working overtime in these sessions, and they pretty much broke down when this was over. Still, as sad as this might be, it's better to have 5 albums worth of genius crammed into 1 than to have them spread out, I think.

Finally, Syd was one of the true masters of feedback creation, up there with Townshend, Hendrix, you name it. He'd slap his guitar like nobody's business, but he'd also use all sorts of outside objects to help him out. Slide rules up and down the fret board, dumping ball bearings across the strings and crazy stuff like that was his specialty. Look, there's nothing quite like listening to a drugged-up lunatic genius messing around with feedback and different ways to make it, and whether you enjoy this or not, it's hard to deny that this album is, at least on some level, an absolutely fascinating listen because of that aspect.

This album is a 40 minute document of everything which made Syd cool, essentially backed by the rhythm section of what would become the world famous Pink Floyd. The dark cosmic rockers are creepier and more disorienting than you could imagine. "Astronomy Domine," one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs ever, has some odd, odd lyrics about his mind travelling in space during one of his trips, with a weirdly mixed voice in the background making announcements about launch times and orbits, and a cool set of downward cascading riffs throughout with Syd just going nuts all over the place. As for the 9:41 instrumental "Interstellar Overdrive," it's incredibly dated, probably more so than anything on here, but I still can't help but feel wowed by it. I adore the whole thing, from the terrific main riff to all the improvised (but still held together with a feeling of control) bits in the middle, to that brief stretch where Syd's guitar becomes one of the trippiest things I know of, to the weird stereo panning at the end that makes everything spin around and around my head. This track is as important to describing both Pink Floyd's history and the music scene of 1967 as anything else, I think.

Aside from the trippy instrumental "Pow R Toc H," which a lot of people dismiss as a dumb drug joke but that I have always enjoyed (I like the main themes, and the vocal freakout at the end is a hoot), the rest of the Syd tracks fall into the childish ditties category. These are not, however, your everyday childish ditties; it's not as if his two styles were completely disjoint from each other. "Lucifer Sam" is a somewhat psycho take on surf music, with a marvelous main riff and a parnoid vocal melody singing about a cat that just won't go away no matter where you go. "Matilda Mother" is the aforementioned bedtime story song, with vocals split between Rick and Syd, and it does a terrific job of capturing the idea that many bedtime stories, as sweet and innocent as they might seem to adults, can have a feeling of darkness and creepiness in the mind of a child that hears them. "Scarecrow" and "The Gnome" are relative throwaways, but I've never gotten tired of their melodies and their silly lyrics. "Flaming" does a nice job of making hide-and-seek sound fun, the much- maligned "Chapter 24" (where Syd took the opening lines of chapter 24 of the I'Ching and put them to music) has wonderful harmonies in the "sunset, sunrise" part near the end, and the closing "Bike" shows how a guy whose mind isn't quite all there attempts to hit on somebody he likes (before the album ends with another vocal freakout).

Oh, I almost forgot; this album has the first song Roger Waters ever wrote, entitled "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk," and it's really, really awful, but that's not in a bad way! This song is so dated that it becomes hilarious and fun beyond belief. Basically, Roger shouts out some really stupid lyrics before the 'melody' gives way to some really, really cool sounding jamming, with both Syd and Rick stretching themselves as much as anywhere else on the album (without going into the kind of trippiness that dominates "Interstellar Overdrive"). Yeah, it probably took Roger about 3 seconds to come up with this song, and those 3 seconds were probably not spent actually thinking about music, but I never skip it.

Buy this album tomorrow. Many, many critics have said almost this exact same thing, and I'm probably just a lemming for following them, but this album is an aural documentary of not only what it's like to be on acid, but also what it's like inside a mind that's about to completely collapse. Somehow, the knowledge of the history surrounding this album brings it all home for me, and what was previously a great album becomes a true classic. Regardless of how many drugs the rest of the group used throughout their history, and supposedly they were used a lot (though some have claimed this is just rumor), Pink Floyd never again made an album which even approached being this trippy.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pink Floyd is one of those bands that most prog fans have already explored and no matter what I say here will create any opinion-changing revelation. Still, it's worth a shot to tell you my connection to this band since I have a rather odd taste when it comes to their output. But before we get to the reasons behind my opinion let me start from the beginning and talk a little about the band's debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn!

Since most people are more familiar with the acclaimed album streak that began with The Dark Side Of The Moon, this 1967 debut release might shock anyone expecting the more familiar tones of gorgeous Space Rock escapades. Let's not forget that this was the era of Psychedelic rock music that traveled from West coast of U.S. and spread all the way to the east coast where it was embraced within the underground community, most notably, by the highly influential band called the Velvet Underground. From there it traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and reached Europe where these influences were embraced by the general public when the Beatles released their ground breaking record Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Many other bands followed in those same footsteps, among which even the Rolling Stones with Their Satanic Majesties Request, but most of these records were met with negative response from the critics labeling them as mere imitators. This was of course not the case with The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn since Pink Floyd had already established themselves as the front-runners of the Psychedelic movement on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

This quartet and especially their front-man and leader, Syd Barrett, had already created somewhat of a following over the few years of notorious gigs that they had played prior to the release of their debut album. The music here consists mostly of short 2 to 4 minute Psychedelic rock tunes with the exception of the 10 minute jam titled Interstellar Overdrive. I realize that many people, including the band themselves, consider it to be the most important piece of music from their early period since it paved the way for future prolonged music experiments that Pink Floyd would become so famous for. Unfortunately this early take on the formula strikes me as extremely amateurish and it definitely doesn't fit in that well with the rest of the material.

Most of the Syd Barrett-comprised material is quite enjoyable and I would probably have liked this album even more if side two didn't have the drop in quality which makes it difficult for The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn to recover beyond the good, but non-essential. Still, it definitely makes me wonder how the band would have evolved if Syd Barrett stayed with in Pink Floyd for a few more albums. Then again, we probably wouldn't have had the albums we that we now hold so dear!

***** star songs: Astronomy Domine (4:12) Lucifer Sam (3:07) Bike (3:21)

**** star songs: Matilda Mother (3:08) Flaming (2:46) Pow R. Toc H. (4:26) Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk (3:05) Chapter 24 (3:42) Scarecrow (2:11)

*** star songs: Interstellar Overdrive (9:41) The Gnome (2:13)

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars I have been so lucky to discover The Piper BEFORE Dark Side and just after Ummagumma, so I wasn't really surprised of Syd Barrett's genius. But let's make a step back in the past: it's the summer of Love in the swinging London. Youth people takes acids and mandies and go to the UFO club to attend the light shows of this band coming from a school of architecture.

The legend says that Syd wrote Astronomy domine in 10 minutes, just looking at an astronomy book and composing sentences by spelling planets and satellites names. So the first thing that who has bought the album when it was released has heard was a bass note followed by telegraph "pings" and Syd's voice. The lirycs are full of adliterations: "Lime and limpid green the second scene the fight between the blue you once new" or "Oberon ther on the run". It's the only song from the debut to be played during the "Pulse" tour.

"Lucifer Sam" opens like a spy B-movie. Only the lyrics are acid enough. There's a psychedelic band whose name is "Jennifer Gentle". A name taken from this song. Probably he was meaning his girlfriend Jenny Spires. The effort of Rick Wright on the keyboard is great throughout all the album.

"Mathilda Mother" was the first commercial success, even if very distant from things like Dark Side, of course. This is a sort of fairytale showing one of the sides of Syd. He was fascinated by childish songs and books. His elaborations are everything but childish. Also on many songs of this album he shows his progressive sides by using voice, noises and microphones to add colourful sounds to each song.

"Flaming" is another song of this kind. I wrote in a review that Syd was "fishing dreams". I mean that his songs are full of images, likely helped by acid hallucinations, but he had the great ability to communicate them using few words, choosing words with the right sound and adapting the music accordingly. All the band makes a great work and flaming is a clear example.

"Pow.R.Toc.H (Power to catch?)" is a sort of counterpart. It's an instrumental full of sounds made by Syd's voice. It's also one of the few live images still existing of one of their live shows. It contains the first "chaotic" piece of the Floyd's history. Something that will be enhanced on Interstellar Overdrive and that the other bandmates will never forget. Saucerful of Secrets has exactly the same structure, only it's longer. The way the guitar and keyboard lead from the chaotic section back to the chaotic finale, are similar to what they did later on Echoes.

"Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" is if I'm not wrong, the first song entirely written by Waters. It's in line with Barrett's writing and has still no track of his talent as songwriter that will explode when he will stop to imitate Syd to follow his own way.

"Interstellar Overdrive" is an example of pure psychedelia. It starts with a rocky guitar riff but turns immediately into psychedelic. I think it has been an example for many bands of that time. It has a structure and it's evident when listening to live versions of this track. It's not a randomic sequence of sounds. It's a psychedelic symphony.

"The Gnome" is another excursion of Syd into the children's world. It's exactly what one can imagine it is.

"Chapter 24" is inspired to the "Ching". The movement accomplished in six stages is the hexagram. This is just the inspiration. The rest is very acid. I personally like the sentence "action brings good fortune" I think there's a bit of Truth in it.

Somebody thinks that "The Scarecrow" is a self-biographic song. "His head did no thinking, his arms didn't move" is how Syd was going to become. This is probably the act of birth of "Pink" as we saw him later in "The Wall". The song is relaxing and maybe childish. Wright's effort is very functional and this is one of my fav songs here.

"Bike" was surprisingly inserted into one of the late compilations. I don't think is very representative of early Floyds but it contains some symptoms of what was happening to Syd and is famous for the "room full of sounds" at the end which includes the "ducks".

It's the only album released in 1967 that I still listen with the same pleasure as when I had my first copy on a tape from a friend in 1972. It's the only Pink Floyd album featuring Syd Barrett, too. So it must have 5 stars. Every progger must have it.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The debut of Pink Floyd is one of the most important albums of the 60s.

It is here where the space rock genre started. Hawkwind owe a lot to this album as do many other prog bands churning out from the 70s. I heard this many times on mono vinyl but to hear it on Cd remastered and stereo separated is another thing altogether. It simply caresses the ears from start to end with crystal clear clarity.

"Neptune Titan stars can frighten you, blinding signs flap flicker flicker flicker blam pow pow!" 'Astronomy Domine' sends chills down my spine as soon as that lead break locks in. It is Barrettt's finest moment, and the film clip demonstrates what a different beast Pink Floyd were all those years ago. The lyrics are absolutely perfect and are engrained in psychedelia as much as the swirling lights in the UFO Club. Syd's Astronomical Atlas helped with the lyrics. The cover version by Voi Vod is worth seeking out too for a heavier feel.

"That cat's something I can't explain." 'Lucifer Sam' has always been a favourite, perhaps one of Barrett's best compositions with the group. It grooves along with psychedelic flair, like a black cat stalking a mouse. The guitar work is excellent from Barrett. I couldn't get this dangblasted thing out of my head for hours. The song was based on Percy the Rat Catcher and I, Ching fragments of counter culture.

"across the sea in wooden shoes, bells to tell the king the news." 'Matilda Mother' is where I get a bit restless with it's dated approach and silly lyrics about a bedtime story read by mother. There is nothing of interest here so we move on.

"Lying on an eiderdown, yippee you can't see me but I can you." 'Flaming' kind of is appealing thanks to a memorable melody and some downright trippy effects. I love the instrumental which is a flower power delight. The lyrics are based on an LSDpsychedelic picnic where Syd played hide and seek with sister Rosemary. The LSD caused fingers to burn sparks like cigarettes.

"cch cch! cch cch! doi doi! doi doi!" After an absolutely uproarious intro with vocal intonations from out of the asylum, 'Pow R. Toc H' settles into a bluesy piano. It is as bad as it is pricelessly psyched out of its brain. Floyd were nothing short of experimenting with the drug culture music that prevailed during the turbulent late 60s. TocH was a signallers call for the Talbot House army club.

"Realise realise realise!" 'Take up thy stethoscope and walk' is quite a curio with some nice melodic phrases from Barrett and the riffs chug along satisfactorily. This one really feels like the 60s with manic keyboard motifs and scratchy guitars. The organ grinds along with freak out finesse, and it's a jam session for acid heads which works as a piece of nostalgia these days. It was a formulaic attempt to capture their on stage sound, penned by Waters.

"bleep bleep bleep" 'Interstellar Overdrive' is one of the most well known instrumentals for the band. It features a killer riff and incredible experimental kanoodling. Some of this sonic disorientation is downright unsettling and makes for a delightful background for an acid trip for the flower children of the 60s. Perhaps it represents a bad LSD trip as this is quite dark especially as it progresses into chilling psychedelia tones mid way through. It is meant to aurally evoke the confusion and dislocation of the drug rush. The high pitched repetitive note may portent the style of 'Echoes' intro, and most of this is improvised for atmosphere more than well played instrumentation. The music represents the submission to LSD, the period of exploration, and the slow descent into contemplation. It is really great to indulge in, and thankfully it is one out of the box and Pink Floyd rarely returned to this free improv style.

"Eating sleeping drinking their wine, he wore a scarlet tunic, a blue green hood, it looked quite good." 'The Gnome' is one of those childish fairy tales inside Barrett's deranged brain. It is okay if taken on its own merits with some cute lyrical rhymes. The man was a nutter and he loved to take himself into la la land by singing these playground ditties. The whispered section is quite effective. It is all inspred by Tolkien's "The Hobbit", Frodo's adventure.

"The movement is accomplished in six stages, the seven is the number of the young light." 'Chapter 24' is forgettable but returning to this for the review I discovered why. The lyrics are all about some chapter in some obscure transcendental I, Ching book. Chapter 24 of the book is titled Fu or change and success, and Syd was endeavouring to explain his increasing psychic upheaval experienced due to his fame and revelations through LSD. I like the melody and Barrett's voice is better on this one. Perhaps this is better than a lot of the other side 2 tracks.

"he stood in a field where barley grows, his head did no thinking his arms didn't move." 'The Scarecrow' features the story telling antics of Syd. This time he is onto another plane of existence singing about some weird scarecrow in the field who has the answer to Syd's sadness. In fact the scarecrow resigns to the fact that he cannot enjoy life, he will never be able to move and has to succumb to the mice churning up the ground beneath him. The nursery feel and click clack horse sounds are effective and Wright is marvellous on keyboards.

"you're the kind of girl that fits in with my world, I'll give you anything everything if you want things." 'Bike' is one of the better tracks and most Floydians know this well. It is well outside what Floyd would do in later years. You gotta love the whimsical lyrics that rhyme brilliantly about things special to Syd; the bike, gingerbread men, a cloak and a pet mouse, and a girl who he wants to fit into his rag tag world. I remember at half time at the Australian Pink Floyd Experience show speaking to some fans in the foyer about the concert, and we jokingly wanted the tribute band to play 'Bike'. It is simply a silly song with the most catchy little melody. It will sink into your brain but you will want it to get out.

The album ends with a creaking door, clocks chiming and a ludicrous quacking. What a debut from Barrett, Wright, Mason, and Waters! It is better than 'Saucerful of Secret-ions' but this one, you will still need to tread careful. It is Pink Floyd, but not as we know it. Overall this is still an entertaining romp and remains the essential late 60s psychedelic prop.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars As you all know by now, Pink Floyd's first album has very little resemblance to the monster the band became in the seventies. The band was, again widely known, centered around the spacy poetry and music of Syd Barrett. While Barrett was highly talented, and Pink Floyd probably would not have become what it eventually became without him, although there is no way of knowing if they would have become popular enough without him to attract record label attention. And they probably would not have become what they did if he stayed also. Would Waters have become the songwriting powerhouse that he is now if Barrett had not left, and what would he have written about without having Barrett's madness to mine? And what of Gilmour?

Well, enough of that speculation.

The album itself is quite good. Most of the songs were penned by Barrett. And these remind me a bit of early Gong, with a little less sillisness (just a little). And Barrett did a fair amount of those sound effect pieces that Waters would continue throughout the band's career.

Two songs are credied to the whole band, and one to Waters. Interstellar Overdrive and Astronome Domine remained in the group live repertoire throughout their career. Nice.

One other thing. My EMI LP credits "Nicky" Mason on drums. It's good that he didn't keep that on later albums.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pink Floyd was Syd Barrett's group. He came up with the name (from two bluesmen) after they went through half a dozen even stranger names. He wrote 90% or more of the music on this album. His solo output doesn't sound anything like this, which is a testament to the influence of the other members as well as Barrett's own fragile mental state after he left the band. This is the only album not to feature Gilmour. He was a close friend of Syd and joined a five-piece version of the group just before Syd left. Featuring a very dated and 'of its time' album cover, the music here is vintage British psych at its finest. Unlike US psych, British psych had a childlike innocence about it. This album is also the beginning of space rock.

Floyd released two psych-pop singles before this album came out. In general, this album is less poppy and more psych-y than those two singles. Piper was recorded at Abbey Road studios literally down the hall from where The Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper. The two bands met each other and McCartney supposedly said (paraphrasing here): "They're gonna steal our thunder!" The Floyd used the 'classical' setting in their studio, instead of the 'pop' setting. Not because they thought they were making classical music, but rather because the 'classical' setting offered more options soundwise. Recorded in mono first and later mixed in stereo. Stereo was still fairly new and it wasn't until 1969 that studio people got it 'right' without sounding gimmicky. Generally speaking, albums recorded before 1969 sound better in their mono versions.

"Astronomy Domine" is a now classic intro to a now classic album. Featuring the band's manager Peter Jenner reading the houses of the Zodiac (groovy, man) and some Morse code I think. This track must have seemed very futuristic in 1967. Syd wrote "Lucifer Sam" about his cat. Centred around a guitar line that sounds like a cross between a blues lick and the theme to a '60s spy film. "Matilda Mother" is one of the highlights of the album and shows that Rick was one of the lead vocalists at the time. Apparently there is a section edited out of the song. Great organ solo with trippy mouth noises from either Syd or Waters. "Pow R Toc H" is an instrumental with vocal sounds. Both jazzy and trippy at the same time. Certainly one of the most proto-proggy tracks on the album.

"Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" is the only song solely written by Waters. One of the more rockin' tunes, almost has a Who-meets-Animals sound to it. Waters and Mason were much more energenic here than on later albums. "Interstellar Overdrive" is the band's first classic instrumental. It would be even freakier and longer in concert. You can almost hear the birth of Krautrock here. Syd came up with the main riff after hearing Jenner hum the Love song "My Little Red Book." The band members recorded their parts twice so you are literally hearing two Pink Floyds at once. This is most noticeable in the buildup to the reprise of the main riff. In the stereo version after the riff comes back you hear all the instruments go back and forth.

"Scarecrow" has Rick playing the black keys on his organ to create an almost monophonic synth type of sound. Interesting percussion sounds but the song itself is basically a folk ditty. "Bike" is classic 1960s British psych-pop, but it is more complex than it seems. The time signature keeps changing while the effects at the end are beyond trippy. As great as this album is, it still does not show how creative these guys could be in a live setting. Syd's guitar playing in particular was more 'out there' than what you hear on Piper. By the end of 1967 the band was already dismissing the whole psychedelic scene, saying it was just another bandwagon people were jumping on. They were ready for the next thing...even if no one knew what the next thing was going to be.

What happend to Syd (real name Roger)? Well, he seemed to be fine until they toured the US for the first time. Then people starting noticing that he was acting kinda strange. Although not a diagnosed schizophrenic, Barrett had some mental issues (they say there is a thin line between genius and insanity). He lived with some shady characters that would do things like put LSD in his drinks without him knowing it. Even worse than the acid perhaps was his use of Mandrax onstage. After Piper was released the band recorded some songs that till this day have never been officially released. He stopped playing with the band in January 1968 (both live and in the studio) just after Gilmour joined. His departure was not officially announced until April of that year.

Although Piper has not aged the greatest, it was an influence on later space rock and Krautrock. There are some that even today praise Barrett but think little of the group he founded. He appears on about half of the next album and sitting in the vaults of Abbey Road is a version of "Let There Be More Light" that features both Barrett and Gilmour. Floyd would go on to become more experimental before becoming a household name; Syd would go on to make some of his own unique guitar-and-vocal based music before getting bored with making music at all. Both Floyd and Barrett would never make an album like this again. Historically significant and one of the better albums of 1967, I give this 4 stars.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars This album was recorded almost at the same time that The Beatles were recording their "Sgt. Pepper" album at the same studios (EMI) in 1967. A very psychedelic album that with the passing of time shows some of the imperfections of its recording and mixing, and a band still developing a sound and a style, still sounding very "new" for the recording enviroment, and with a tendency for inprovisation. Maybe Syd Barrett was the pioneer in the definition of the sound of the band, but when he left in 1968, they became a better band, in my opinion, with David Gilmour. Barret was a very good lyricist and singer, but he really sounds in this album as not being a very dedicated guitarist as he sounds like really playing without much care. So, maybe his main contribution for the band was to define a sound and a musical style in the psychedelic fad that was in their best period of time particularly during 1967. The songs are good but some of them sound now dated. The recording and the mxing of the album are not very good despite having the now late Norman Smith as producer, who also was the recording engineer for The Beatles from 1962 to 1965, and he later became a producer for other bands like Pink Floyd and also a solo artist during the seventies. So the album as a whole sounds with some lack of "polish" as other albums from the same period sound better in comparison. Some of the lyrics of the songs really sound "childish", like narrations for children, which maybe was an innovation in 1967. Other songs sound like "mind trips" aided a bit by the use of some substances. Anyway, for me the best songs in this album are "Astronomy Domine", "Lucifer Sam", "Interstellar Overdrive" and particularly "Bike", which in my opinion is the best song in this album, with very good psychedelic arrangements and sound effects particularly at the end of the song. It seems that the members of the band and The Beatles were introduced to each other once during a brief visit during the recording sessions at EMI Studios for the "Sgt. Pepper" album,as Mark Lewisohn wrote in his book "The Beatles: Recording Sessions", sharing "half-hearted hellos" only between them. Apparently, Norman Smith had some problems trying to understand the musical ideas that Pink Floyd presented to him. Anyway, he continued working with them as producer until 1969, having better results on later albums.
Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars The debut album by PINK FLOYD is cited by many as being the first progressive rock album to hit the world with all the proggy yumminess the genre has become famous for without straying too far into the world of make believe. In fact i find THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN to be an excellent compromise between the accessible pop oriented psychedelic music that was gracing 1967 like Love, Jefferson Airplane and even the Beatles and the more "out there" truly experimental astral trip varieties of music a la Pärson Sound or Malachi.


Long before "Dark Side Of The Moon" and the 70s second coming of this prolific and most popular of bands was the era when the then students Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Roger Walters joined forces to unleash their psychedelic fantasies of the day. Right off the bat we are hit hard with the stellar "Astronomy Domine" which is the epitome of Barrett / Wright psychedelic songwriting of this era which takes the psychedelic mood of the day and sends it right into space two years before the actual landing on the moon. The track clearly distinguishes itself from other music of the day by adding unusual chord progressions and by being played through a Binson echo machine to create the desired delay effects.


The album was a hit for me upon first listen and has never grown stale one bit. Although i don't listen to PINK FLOYD as much these days simply because i've heard their albums so many times they have infused themselves in my DNA, when i do feel like hearing a FLOYD classic i usually skip "Dark Side" and the later ones and retreat straight to the beginning where all was beyond Strawberry Fields and dared to venture further out into the far reaches of space rock. Whether they were singing about lime and limpid green or Lucifer Sam, PINK FLOYD relished in creating the most surreal lyrics accompanied by that most British sense of humor which makes this album both bizarre and cute :) If you're looking for that perfect middle ground between the accessibility of the 60s psych world and touches of the truly out there then look no further than PIPER because this album still works for me after many many listens.

PINK FLOYD - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

= 5 STARS *****

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Have you got it yet?

If not, the joke's on you. Andy Kaufman, the lunatic genius who was far more interested in baffling people than making them laugh, knew the power of the put-on. Kaufman's was the deep practical joke; the art of the bluff. Of course in Andy's case he didn't much care if you understood that or not. He was having too much fun. So was Roger Keith Barrett.

There are other comparisons to 'Syd' Barrett. Brian Wilson comes to mind, but though also an innovative composer who shone bright in the 1960s and fell ~ possibly due to psychological imbalances and/or pharmaceutical substances ~ Wilson kept doing music and eventually returned with a run of very nice releases. And he's still alive. There's Lenny Bruce, mad comic scientist seemingly too outrageous for his own time whose politically incorrect material was so startling and corrosive that it killed him, forging a style of spontaneous story-telling that is still the foundation for most modern standup comedy.

Each came from middle class families, all gravitated toward the performing arts. But it is Andy Kaufman and his commitment to the joke's-on-you who reminds me most of Syd Barrett. Kaufman understood the price of unusual talent, was willing to pay it, and that brilliance is often accompanied by a kind of delirium. Or in literary terms, "Originality demands a degree of lunacy". In Syd Barrett's case, that's putting it mildly. Sadly we don't know with much clarity what Barrett's state of mind was when he died even though he was one of the most looked into and sought-after rock artists. After his midwifery of psychedelic pioneers Pink Floyd he recorded a couple solo records, withdrew from music, lived on royalties in hotels, and eventually moved to his mom's place in Cambridge. He became an avid gardener, painted abstracts, lived as quietly as he could, and died in 2006 of pancreatic cancer. And when we hear of his seclusion; Friends who'd given up or were long gone; His father's death when he was 15 (who had gotten him into music); Deep fear of injury or illness that could bring an important creative project crashing to a halt, our collective heart breaks and we want to give him a big hug.

Yet to my surprise, instead of the evasive, erratic, difficult artiste I'd surely expected, Mr. Barrett was open, interested and relaxed during our conversation in a modest motel room of gray drapes, imitation wood furniture, a mattress that'd seen better days and a funk that hung in the air like old cigarette smoke & coffee. Barrett's long jawline, thick brows, piercing brown eyes, stubble, and vintage paisley blouse did not betray his sixty years. "Have you got it yet?" he asked as I was fumbling with notes. "Yes, thanks for waiting" I finally said taking a deep breath and hunching on a lime-green Ottoman.

A - It's my understanding a person is very much the same after death, but you seem not at all the disconnected or sporadic person your legend suggests -

Syd - Yes well that's probably true, but it's been ten years and time has its influence. I was more dead when I was alive (smiles thinly).

A - Can you elaborate on that?

Syd - I don't think so, no, sorry. I'm not trying to be rude, you understand, that's just the best way to say it.

A - Sure. The innovations you brought to electric guitar, modern rock composing and presentation ended up being enormous. But the childlike qualities that you drew on from your love of fairytales, books like The Wind in the Willows, Cautionary Tales for Children, and The Little Grey Men are also quite clear.

Syd - Yes that's quite right. It was childlike and that was the point; that's what was interesting. The timing was right and I suppose a bunch of others dug it too. I couldn't play like Jeff Beck and had no interest in trying. It was about finding something so unexpected, so original and hard for another band to recreate, that it would stand out like a sore thumb. I mean in a good way (laughs).

A - The value of truly original work.

Syd - Well yes but it had to be in context-- I mean you can't just go out there and rub a vase across a guitar neck through an effect and expect people to come back. There has to be a measure of melodic content.

A - Talk about "melodic content" in reference to The Pink Floyd's early music.

Syd - People aren't sheep. They know what they like and respond to it, so if a lot of people get excited when you play a Blues or Surf number that goes screwy halfway through but don't get so excited when it's just all screwy, you have to pay attention to that. Or not be asked back by the club. On the other hand there were no rules to what we were doing, or at least we thought so, and we were trying to walk that line.

A - You consider yourself a songwriter?

Syd - Not a very good one.

A - Why is that?

Syd - (long pause) When you become dissatisfied with your own work it becomes an impossibility. I couldn't force myself to be excited by things I'd already exhausted. That's why the band's music changed so much between the first and second albums. No one could just stand still, not in that band, not me or Roger or Dave or anyone. Music was allowed to be fluid then, and there was great hunger to liquidate and expand. To grow.

A - That almost sounds like a CEO describing a corporation.

Syd - Yeah. That's what it became. But I don't blame those guys for taking it there. Sometimes you either move forward or die.

A - I wanted to discuss The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Let's just jump in to 'Astronomy Domine', one of the most startling intros in rock history. The radioed voice, Morse signal, strange vocals, but still with some beat and, as you say, melody. The LP charted for fourteen weeks in Britain and peaked at #6. Pretty good for such an unique piece of work. How do you explain the immediate appeal 'Astronomy Domine' had?

Syd - I don't, except to say enough people, young people, were ready for something different. As different as Jackson Pollock was to modern art.

A - And 'Lucifer Sam' you must admit is pretty raw.

Syd - Yeah but in '67 that riff cooked. It cooked-up well. And then Matilda was the clincher, I think.

A - The "clincher"? How so?

Syd - It was a real tune. We could stack-up against the bigger bands with this one. Good to have in the pocket. Showed we could sing, sort of, and put together a decent bit. * Have you got it yet? *

A - The interview? Not quite, I'd like to get through as many of the cuts as possible, if that's alright?

Syd - Right.

A - How would you describe 'Flaming'.

Syd - A party tune.

A - Okay, and 'Pow R. Toc H.' ?

Syd - We were trying to break through, to break out, you know? This shows the jazz influence, but really our improvisational side. Unfortunately 'Stethoscope' was a cock-up.

A - 'Interstellar Overdrive' was a group composition, how did that manifest itself?; The process.

[* At this point Barrett began staring off into space. I indulged him, and waited.]

Syd - The process? Was there a process? I don't know . . .

A - 'The Gnome'; a Beatles influence?

Syd - Not really, more a generally British one. I preferred the Stones.

A - And a dose or two?

Syd - Marginally, but you must know I didn't often drop in the studio, too much to do. Have you ever tried to play a guitar while flying on acid? Can't be done with any degree of intention. 'Chapter 24' was more in a hallucinogenic vein. You can hear the impact this song had on everyone back then. Even the Monkees (laughter). 'Scarecrow' less so, more of a textural departure. One of my favorites on the LP.

A - Which leads us to one of my favorites, closing cut 'Bike'. The bizarre lyric, and the de-tuned bar room piano. Gingerbread men, lusty ambitions, the metalworks & duck calls at the end, all of it. Neat track.

Syd - Thank you. Now, have you got it yet?

A - Yes I think so.

Syd - Lovely seeing and talking with you.

A - Many thanks, Mr. Barrett.

My subject walked outside to a car that was idled at the curb. The man driving looked familiar, doughy with a shaved head, blank expression, and an army field jacket. As my interviewee got inside the car, he and the man behind the wheel glanced at each other and grinned. Then I realized who the driver was. No mistaking him. It was Syd Barrett.

Yes, Syd, I got it. Finally.

Review by The Crow
3 stars The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is one of the most interesting and unique albums in the entire Pink Floyd's discography!

The Norman Smith's production is superb, everything sounds fantastic even 40 years after the release of the LP and the Syd Barrett's strong personality and leadership gave this record a very special and unique flavor. Crazy, surprising and funny at the same time.

The music is one of the best examples of pure 60's psychedelic rock with strong influences of bands like The Door (especially in some keyboards), but essential for the posterior development of progressive rock a few years later.

Best Tracks: Astronomy Domine (a little classic), Interstellar Overdrive (pure psychedelic rock at its best), Scarecrow (beautiful acoustic guitars)

Conclusion: not precisely my cup of tea, but very stimulating once in a while and a very promising debut from one of the greatest bands of all times! Recommended.

My rating: ***

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 310

Pink Floyd was a band formed between 1963 and 1965 and that had several names and several band's members during that period of time. In 1965 it was officially founded with its usual name and the original members consisted of the architecture students Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright and the art student Syd Barrett. Barrett was the original creative force behind the band, which he named after the bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. He would lead the band only for three years. However, Barrett's era was fundamental for what they became in the future.

'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' is Pink Floyd's debut studio album and was released in 1967. It was also the only album made under the leadership of Syd Barrett. The line up on the album is Syd Barrett (vocals and guitars), Roger Waters (vocals and bass guitar), Richard Wright (vocals and keyboards) and Nick Mason (drums and percussion).

'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' has eleven tracks. All songs were written by Syd Barrett, except 'Pow R. Toc H.' written by Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, 'Take Up The Stethoscope And Walk' written by Roger Waters and 'Interstellar Overdrive' written by Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason. The first track 'Astronomy Domine' is a great song to open the album. It's a typical psychedelic song of the late of the 60's with a very powerful rhythm and an excellent guitar work. This is one of my favourite songs on the album. The second track 'Lucifer Sam' is another excellent song on the album, also with powerful rhythm, especially because the fantastic bass work of Roger Waters. It represents another great moment on the album. The third track 'Matilda Mother' is a typical song of the late of the 60's and must have been a must in those times. It's a very good psychedelic song that reminds me other great bands of those times, The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things, only to mention two of them. This is another great song. The fourth track 'Flaming' begins with a strange sound and is another typical psychedelic song. It has, in the middle, some dissonant parts but it evolves and is in reality a very enjoyable song to listen to. This is another very interesting song on the album. The fifth track 'Pow R. Toc H.' has a very strange begin and is also very insane but evolves to a nice and charming piano work by Richard Wright. It has also, in the middle, some dissonant musical moments, but it gives to us, in reality, a very good and interesting musical moment. This is a song that reminds me strongly The Doors, especially the piano sound of Ray Manzarek. The sixth track 'Take Up The Stethoscope And Walk' is a typical song of the 60's with some improvisation musical moments, with good keyboard work, but without nothing more than that. It's, in my humble opinion, one of the weakest songs on the album. The seventh track 'Interstellar Overdrive' is, in general considered, the great magnus opus of the album. It's the lengthiest song on the album, full of improvisations and dissonant musical parts which make it confusing and chaotic. This is a very different innovative and interesting song with some progressivity and that we may also be able to consider their first approach to the space rock. The eighth track 'The Gnome' is a song that reminds us the children's world. It's a very weird song with silly lyrics and with a musical incursion into the acoustic folk music. However, this is, for me, a very enjoyable and a funny song. The ninth track 'Chapter 24' is another psychedelic song were the organ has a strong presence. It's on one hand a very simple, nice and melodious song, but on the other hand, is a weird and a dark song. The tenth track 'The Scarecrow' is a very short song with an interesting and strange musical sound. It's another psychedelic song but this time with a kind of a medieval sound with nice keyboard work and an interesting percussion sound. It's another enjoyable song. The eleventh and last track 'Bike' was the song chosen to close the album. It's a childish and mad song with good lyrics but completely insane. This is a very strange way to finish this strange, na've and special album.

Conclusion: 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' is a very special and unique album in all Pink Floyd's discography. It's the only studio album under the leadership of Syd Barrett and it's also, practically, the only studio album of the band with his participation as a band's member. It's true that he participates also on Pink Floyd's second studio album 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', but his participation was seminal with only one song. 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' is also, in a certain way, a Syd Barrett's album because he wrote almost all the songs on the album. This is also a mythic album for those who love this Pink Floyd's musical era and Syd Barrett's music. 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' is a very good album that explores the psychedelic music in its more intimate and complexes senses with some touches of blues. It isn't a true progressive album, but it's a landmark of the psychedelic music, and it must be seen as a central piece of music of the end of the 60's. This is also a very important musical document that clearly shows the beginning of the mental instability of Syd Barrett, with his deep disturbs, which would become, in a short term, in a breakdown.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

5 stars In August of 1967, the band released their first full-length album: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Even if this had been the only album Pink Floyd ever released, they would still be remembered as psychedelic royalty. The kaleidoscopic cover art only hints at what's held within the grooves of the re ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904344) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As their first album, Piper does a great job of establishing a sound for the rest of this discography. Something to build off of in new and interesting ways. Unfortunately, this is the only album that Syd fronted on before his departure, leaving us with the Pink Floyd we know and love. And love ... (read more)

Report this review (#2898550) | Posted by theCoagulater | Saturday, March 11, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #3 This is where everything started. 1967 was a very prolific year about Psychedelic and Symphonic Rock releases; bands like Jefferson Airplane, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Velvet Underground, Love, The Moody Blues, and of course The Beatles released some of their most iconic recor ... (read more)

Report this review (#2461881) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Saturday, October 31, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Part 1 of a review series on Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd is the band that got me into this whole musical heaven that is the world of progressive rock music. I should be thankful of them for that. It all started with these four notes in Shine On You Crazy Diamond... But wait, we're not there yet. It d ... (read more)

Report this review (#2262738) | Posted by MaxPap | Saturday, September 21, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5: A very solid album with most of the songs being remarkable well done and most recognized it as the beginning of the history of the best, or at least commercially, band of progressive Rock. I heard the UK version, so the singles are like an extra content to me, being only See Emily play the one ... (read more)

Report this review (#2056052) | Posted by mariorockprog | Thursday, November 15, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a confusing album for many Floyd fans who, like me, discovered this album after listening and re-listening to such gems as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, Meddle and the like. Piper showcases the dark mind of Syd Barrett. Piper is ea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1536882) | Posted by PoolmanProgger | Monday, March 7, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Listen! If the stars are lit, means... They glow too much brightly for this world. Unfortunately, genuine Psychedelic Man created a few, but his works are immortal. Good works characterized by unique transparent sound which is, however, typical for just English artists and groups. It is transparent ... (read more)

Report this review (#1496406) | Posted by Naida Regent | Friday, December 4, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A tale of two Floyds. It's pretty easy to say that most American Pink Floyd fans never really warmed up to Syd Barrett and that's for reasons that are not so easy to distinguish. Some point to the overt 'Englishness' of Syd's lyrical stance. Other's point to Barrett's material that is only ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#1450445) | Posted by SteveG | Saturday, August 8, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars London's 1967 psychedelic scene was mostly inspired by the uprising of the Beatles' music during the decade. Knowing this, many bands were quick to jump on the wagon before the music became less popular. Thus, they pulled out their joints and bongs and hit the records as fast as they could. On ... (read more)

Report this review (#1341309) | Posted by aglasshouse | Wednesday, January 7, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Being the first album of, perhaps, the best band in the history of rock music, one easily realizes the historical value and importance of ''The Piper....'', definitely one of the most important debuts ever released. This value becomes greater as this album is Syd Barrett's main legacy in the art of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1175167) | Posted by Aldebaran_Well | Wednesday, May 14, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Piper At The Gates Dawn is The Pink Floyd's debut album released in 1967. The album, being highly different than the Pink Floyd we know today, was written by founder of the band, Syd Barret. This album received high ratings from the general public, ranging from 4/5 - 5/5. The albums genre can ... (read more)

Report this review (#1173623) | Posted by PanOfPans | Saturday, May 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I only give four stars in the intention of remaining true to the definition of Progressive Rock. Since this album was clearly influential and a masterpiece all on its own, I would definitely say it is an excellent addition to any prog collection. The psychedelic tendencies of Pink Floyd are deceptiv ... (read more)

Report this review (#1145741) | Posted by ebil0505 | Monday, March 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Piper was the first album by the band Pink Floyd, but in this period it was more like "The Syd Barrett Experience". Don't expect this to be similar to their later work such as Dark Side Of The Moon because it is very different. Evident of the psychedelic era of the late 60's, Piper is almost a compl ... (read more)

Report this review (#1086770) | Posted by thebig_E | Saturday, December 7, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars the debut album of the most famous prog rock band in the whole world (the most famous never is the best). of course i'm not saying that PINK FLOYD is bad, i had to say that i'm a Floydian like a houndred of millions in the world. Pink floyd ocasionally had open the shows of Jimi Hendrix. "The pip ... (read more)

Report this review (#992990) | Posted by Zeuhl Glikowski II | Sunday, July 7, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Ultimately their debut was a watered down Pink Floyd music. When you compare it with what they were playing live at the time this is much more "popish" version of their tracks, and if you check in their setlists only an handful of these were ever played live. Even though I admit Syd Barrett was o ... (read more)

Report this review (#826770) | Posted by JohnCarlson | Sunday, September 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have to tell you one thing: I do not fall asleep without a book about Syd Barret under the pillow. Yes, I'm one of those Syd fangirls who love almost everything about him. It's strange to talk about it here, I know. But he had a magnetism and he was an interesting kind of person. Was he a beaut ... (read more)

Report this review (#772436) | Posted by Glucose | Saturday, June 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Before reviewing this album, it is appropriate to state that I simply do not like the Barrett-led era (or pre-Atom Heart for that matter). With that said, this is the more tolerable of the two Barrett albums. The songs are just average musically, but they invoke a sound unlike anything Pink Floyd do ... (read more)

Report this review (#771372) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A masterpiece of psychedelia, and an indispensable document of the genuis of Syd Barrett, The Piper At the Gates of Dawn is also one of the most original albums of '67, having a very distinct sound, with Nick Mason's tirbally pounding drums, Rick Wright's ominous yet melodic organ, Roger Water ... (read more)

Report this review (#673026) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This certainly isnt the best playing Pink Floyd ever did. It definitely isnt the most popular. Yet its a sign of intent, and a ground-breaking album. Even more important, it actually has Barrett on the record instead of just his massive influence and ghost, which hovers all the post-Barrett recordin ... (read more)

Report this review (#510253) | Posted by DiamondDog | Saturday, August 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first and only album to fully feature Syd Barret shows Pink Floyd at its most drugged and psychedelic. It was 1967 and after the innovate and ground breaking Sgt. Pepper this feels somewhat close to it after all they were both recorded in the same studio at almost the same time. Granted th ... (read more)

Report this review (#473565) | Posted by criticdrummer94 | Friday, July 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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